BILLINGS – When Montana's medical marijuana program first debuted in 2004, there were unfortunately some difficulties.
With the transition to Senate Bill 333 back in 2017 and the current passage of Bill 265, there have been many revisions to programs that tackle various elements; The most notable change is to untethering patients from just having a caregiver while placing a five ounce limit on the amount of marijuana patients can buy each month.
"It's just the wild west," said Ryder Gerberding, owner of Medicine Creek Caregivers. "Everyone announced where they wanted to, and did what they wanted, with absolutely no supervision."
"The state wants a system created by all providers in the tracking system and you can choose which one you want to go to, so it will give patients the freedom if they travel to go somewhere else," says Jean Lucas , CFO of Montana Advanced Caregivers.
For patients who are now allowed to shop on multiple dispensaries, what does it mean for industry competition?
It will allow providers to focus much more on their niche. If a supplier is excellent at making edibles, but their flowers do not grow very well, this will allow them to focus their attention much more on perfecting just edibles.
"As the bill is written now, everything that goes beyond, to go into alternative pain control gs resources, so you know, helps with this opioid epidemic happening everywhere. Just educate people who are not just cannabis out there. There are many other comprehensive methods to raise yourself, "said Gerberding.
One aspect that has not changed is the limitations of advertising, which prohibits the industry from advertising in any medium, including electronic, which vendors do not necessarily Agree with.
"Liquor stores are allowed to advertise, tobacco and liquor companies are allowed to advertise. So what makes cannabis something different? "Gerberding said.
" I find it strange that our business is one of the few where we are not allowed to do so. Any other business can advertise, "Lucas said.
" Now there is one thing we can do as suppliers, creating a website. It is not allowed to have any kind of pricing on them, any kind of accessibility, a little about what we do – just the business we are, says Gerberding.
With the laws that change and the industry continues to grow, what
"One big thing I want to see are suppliers who work more with each other, and that's much less cutthroat," Gerberding said.
"I think it's a positive move," Lucas said. "It's going to be the disadvantages of some laws that change, but generally I think we're moving in the right direction in Montana to help our patients."
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