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Future Of Medical Marijuana Inventory Unclear If Repeal Bill Passes

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MISSOULA, Mont. -- Montana's lawmakers had their hands full with medical marijuana related bills this session. Two that are moving forward could basically do away with dispensaries in Montana.

We wanted to know if either of those bills pass, what will happen to the current inventory of marijuana.

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services regulates the medical marijuana cards, but not dispensaries. So, if a repeal happens, who would be in charge of rounding up the pot?

Missoula Sheriff Carl Ibsen doesn't know what to expect when it comes to medical marijuana. He's just one of the many Montanans watching the debate play out in Helena.

"I'm trying to stay up on some of the bills," Ibsen said. "Obviously with the number of bills, it's pretty well impossible for an old guy like me to keep up with all of them."

One caregiver told us for every 16 patients, caregivers can have one pound of cannabis in backup. The limit is 6 plants per patient. So, with more than 28,000 patients in Montana, there's potentially a lot of marijuana in reserve.

"The logistical implications of law enforcement actually going and tracking down 28,000 people is enormous," Tayln Lang with the Montana Medical Growers Association said. "I don't know if they would have the resources to actually do that."

If the repeal bill passes, medical marijuana will be illegal July 1. The same goes for Senate Bill 423, which would repeal the bill for three months before basically hitting the reset button on the industry. Either way, what are caregivcers supposed to do with their inventory?

"Of course law enforcement would love to see, on July 1st, every caregiver and every patient in the state coming in with large sacks of cannabis and turning it into them," Lang said. "However, I think the reality of that happening is probably fairly slim."

We called several agencies for the answer, but none were clear. The Governor's office thinks local law enforcement agencies would be in charge of rounding up inventory. Legislative services said one of the bills could pass, and an interim committee of lawmakers would work out the details. Ibsen thinks if either bill passes, it will end up in court with a judge making the call.

"That'll be tied up in court for a long time, I imagine," Ibsen said. "And will be up to a judge to determine."

Several medical marijuana advocates sent out e-mails Friday urging people to call the Governor's office to push for a veto. The Governor's phone lines stayed tied up all day.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: nbcmontana.com
Author: Maritsa Georgiou
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Bonten Media Group
Website: Future Of Medical Marijuana Inventory Unclear If Repeal Bill Passes
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