Montana Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Medical Marijuana Appeals

The Montana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday on separate appeals filed by a medical marijuana industry group and the state of Montana.

They are appealing separate portions of a 2011 district court decision that temporarily blocked parts of a much stricter 2011 state law from being implemented.

The court will hear the case of Montana Cannabis Industry Association and others against the state at 9:30 a.m. in the court’s chambers on the third floor of the Justice and State Library Building, 215 N. Sanders, in Helena.

The court is limiting oral arguments to two issues from District Court Judge James Reynolds’ ruling:

• Whether the judge erred in blocking the law’s ban on medical marijuana cardholders compensating providers for marijuana products and its limit that a provider can provide pot for a maximum of three cardholders. There had been no previous restrictions on compensation or the number of cardholders a provider could serve. The state appealed these parts of Reynolds’ decision.

• Whether Reynolds erred in denying a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the entire 2011 Medical Marijuana Act as the Cannabis Industry had sought instead of just the five sections he blocked. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association appealed this part of the ruling.

At issue is Senate Bill 423, which was one of the major bills before the 2011 Legislature and subject to many amendments. The Legislature passed SB423 only after Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate to repeal the 2004 voter-passed initiative to legalize the use of marijuana for certain medicinal purposes.

– Read the entire article at The Missoulian.