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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Montana House agrees to extend moratorium on new recreational cannabis licenses

cannabis store sign
Osarieme Eweka iStock/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Cannabis store sign.

The Montana House endorsed a bill that would extend a moratorium on licenses for new recreational cannabis businesses and clarify regulatory oversight.

House Bill 128 is sponsored by Rep. Joshua Kassmier of Fort Benton. “It took us a year and a half. It’s probably not a great bill but it’s a good bill,” Kassmier said.

The bill is the result of negotiations between legislators on the Interim Economic Affairs Committee, state regulators, and industry stakeholders to find consensus on regulatory changes needed for the state's budding cannabis industry.

One of the most significant provisions of the bill is an extension of a moratorium on new licenses for recreational sales. Under current law, only previously licensed medical marijuana businesses can be licensed for recreational sales until July 2023. The new bill would extend that moratorium through the end of June, 2025.

House Bill 128 would also add minor regulatory changes and clarifications to areas identified as needing attention. The House gave initial approval of the bill Wednesday. Opposition to the bill largely came from legislators who oppose recreational cannabis sales in any fashion.

John joined the Montana Public Radio team in August 2022. Born and raised in Helena, he graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Media Arts and created the Montana history podcast Land Grab. John can be contacted at
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