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The 2021 meeting of Montana lawmakers was defined by Republicans' ironclad majority in both chambers with the backing of the first GOP governor in 16 years and work that began during a pandemic. MTPR’s Shaylee Ragar and YPR’s Kevin Trevellyan have been in the halls and zoom meetings for the past 80 days. Here’s their breakdown of the final day of action.

Shaylee Ragar Kevin, the Republican caucus held a press conference after the session had officially adjourned, and they were in high spirits.

The Session Week 18: What Happened During Montana’s 2021 Legislative Session?

May 3, 2021

The 67th session of the Montana Legislature adjourned sine die Thursday, April 29. During lawmakers’ 80 days of work, 1,313 bills were introduced and as of mid-day Friday at least 302 had been signed into law.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

The dispute between Republican legislative leadership and the state Supreme Court will likely continue after the legislative session ends. This as Montana joins several states in passing changes to voting laws — and those changes are already being challenged in court. And Friday, lawmakers reached a compromise on how to implement recreational marijuana.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

Lawmakers Grind Through Marijuana Implementation Amendments

Apr 16, 2021
Cannabis bud.
iStock

HELENA - Senators on a special committee will attempt to roll three bills into one to build Montana’s recreational marijuana program. 

Gov. Gianforte is one of Montana's new cases of COVID. The marijuana bills are now in the Senate's lap. The House votes to abide by the First Amendment. The Republican PSC opposes a Republican Colstrip bill. And the Republican renaissance in Montana owes a lot to the legacy of former Governor Stan Stephens.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

The Montana House has passed largely along party lines three different proposals to regulate and tax recreational marijuana. Lawmakers faced a looming procedural deadline Thursday and are now handing the policy debate over to the Senate.

Lawmakers expect major changes in the coming weeks on bills to shape Montana’s adult use cannabis regulations.

Missoula Republican Rep. Mike Hopkins is carrying one of the proposals.

“There is a good bit more to the story to be told,” Hopkins said.

Competing bills to regulate Montana’s forthcoming recreational marijuana program are advancing in the Legislature.

Facing a procedural deadline next Thursday, lawmakers are keeping several policies on the table as they debate how to tax and regulate recreational cannabis.

More than 30 people testified during a marathon hearing over one of three bills Montana lawmakers are workshopping to stand up the state’s forthcoming recreational marijuana program.

It took more than a decade interspersed with multiple ballot initiatives and courtroom debates to set Montana’s policy for regulating medical marijuana. State lawmakers are now seeking to avoid those past pitfalls as they face the challenge of regulating the state’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry.

Pepper Petersen rattles off marijuana strains in a Helena medical dispensary.

“Lime Haze. Gelato Zkittlez Cake. And of course, Mendolicious, it’s very popular."

Marijuana in jars on a shop shelf.
iStock

Two competing proposals introduced Monday outline how state lawmakers would regulate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Montana.

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