• Buying and selling hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products have been legal in Montana since 2001, when state lawmakers passed the Montana Senate Bill 261(1).
  • The medicinal use of marijuana is also legal in the state under the 2004 Initiative 148. Under the initiative, patients with debilitating medical conditions may use marijuana as treatment(2).
  • In Montana, businesses may mix CBD with food as long as these companies market the products without health and health-related claims(3).
  • Montana has three CBD shops accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of November 2020, consumer reports show that all the accredited CBD dispensaries in the state have no customer complaints(4).

The production of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in Montana under the 2001 Montana Senate Bill 261. The legislation legalized hemp as long as it contains no more than 0.30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound of cannabis(5).

CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. It may be sourced from both marijuana plants and hemp plants.

There are currently three types of CBD offered in the market: whole-plant or full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Montana Senate Bill 176 allowed the establishment of an industrial hemp program that awards licenses to individuals and entities interested in cultivating hemp in the state(6).

After the cultivation of hemp was legalized, hemp farmers in Montana were allowed to produce oil from their hemp crops.

The medical use of marijuana and marijuana-derived products is decriminalized in Montana after citizens voted to pass the 2004 Initiative 148. The legislation authorized the use of medical marijuana to treat patients with debilitating conditions(7).

In line with regulations from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), hemp producers are allowed to mix hemp components in food as long as it is marketed without health and health-related claims(8).

In Montana, CBD may not be marketed as a dietary supplement, regardless of the plant source(9). A registry identification card given to patients and their caregivers is also required to purchase medical marijuana in the state(10)

The DPHHS recommends acquiring medicinal marijuana products through the Montana Medical Marijuana Program only, the state’s existing drug approval program.

Under the program, the DPHHS provides identification cards to medical marijuana patients. The ID allows them to obtain marijuana and marijuana-derived products legally.

As of November 2020, there are no limits on how much hemp-derived CBD a person may purchase or possess in Montana. However, individuals who possess up to 60 grams of marijuana may be charged with a misdemeanor, fined $500, and jailed for up to six months(11)

The second offense for the crime is punishable with a misdemeanor charge, three-year imprisonment, and a $1,000 fine. Third-time offenders may face a felony charge(12).

In Montana, purchasing hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD oil is legal. However, individuals buying marijuana-derived CBD oil must be registered with the state’s medical marijuana program.

The production of hemp-derived CBD was legalized at the federal level in 2018 when the then President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law. 

Under the legislation, the federal government legalized the production of hemp-derived CBD products as long as they contain less than 0.30% THC.

However, it is crucial to remember that state law supersedes federal law. CBD production is still prohibited in some states, including Hawaii and South Dakota(13).

Montana CBD Laws

2001 Montana Senate Bill 261

The 2001 Montana Senate Bill 261 authorized the production and cultivation of industrial hemp as an agricultural crop. The law defined industrial hemp as a Cannabis sativa variety with less than 0.30% THC(14).

The bill legalized planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, selling, or buying industrial hemp products if they possess a THC content of less than 0.30%.

Under the legislation, individuals must be licensed hemp farmers before they can grow industrial hemp.

2019 Montana Senate Bill 176

The 2019 Montana Senate Bill 176 is a state law that called for the implementation of a state hemp program in Montana(15)

The Montana State Hemp Program provides hemp licenses to individuals and entities seeking to cultivate hemp. 

2004 Initiative 148

Proposed through an initiative petition, the 2004 Initiative 148 legalized the production, possession, and use of marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions(16)

Under the legislation, patients with the following medical conditions may register for the Montana Medical Marijuana Program:

  1. Cancer
  2. Glaucoma
  3. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  4. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  5. Other chronic illnesses with the following symptoms:
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms

Before the initiative was passed, patients with cancer, AIDS, and other severe medical conditions may face six months in prison and be fined $500 for using medical marijuana.

Licensing Requirements

Below are the licensing requirements that applicants must complete before they can join the Montana State Hemp Program. The data is collected from the Montana Department of Agriculture’s website(17).

Applicants must provide entity information, key participant information, crop information, and seed and live plant source verification. Applicants must also pay a nonrefundable fee of $850 to apply. 

For individual applications, applicants must provide the full names, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses of all the people involved in managing their operation.

Key participants include the people serving as officers of the operation who are responsible for management decisions regarding the crop.

Applicants must sign the department’s attestation statement and the risk acknowledgment statement. New applicants are also subject to background checks.

For business entities, applicants must provide their business license number on file with the Montana Secretary of State’s (SOS) office. Businesses must also provide their employer identification number (EIN).

Applicants must also disclose their seed providers during the application process. These suppliers must be licensed in Montana.

Application requirements may be mailed to the department’s PO Box. All requirements must be sent, or else the application may not be processed.

According to the department, hemp farmers in the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC), the Chippewa Cree of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, and Blackfeet Nation do not need to apply for a state hemp license. 

Instead, they may secure a license through the Fort Belknap Agriculture Office or Blackfeet Homeland Security Office. 

Sampling and Testing Requirements

The Montana Department of Agriculture has an analytical chemistry lab where hemp crop samples may be tested. As of January 2020, the lab has applied for approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)(18).

Hemp testing in the state includes the determination of the sample crop’s THC levels.

For sampling, the farmer must be present at the growing site unless they successfully provide a compelling reason for their absence

Farmers must grant the department access to samples, and department officials may inspect all the cannabis grown under the hemp program. 

Although the department conducts pre-harvest sampling for testing, the department also authorizes postharvest sampling when necessary. 

Buying CBD Legally

How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy

In Montana, it is legal to buy and sell industrial hempderived CBD products as long as they possess less than 0.30% THC(19).

CBD users in Montana may buy a wide range of CBD products, including edibles, tinctures, capsules, balms, and wax. When looking for the best CBD products, CBD users must keep the following tips in mind:

  • Look for third-party lab results, which may help buyers determine the exact CBD concentration and potency of a product. 
  • Check the THC content of the product. THC has psychoactive effects
  • Avoid the cheapest CBD products offered in the market. Since producing high-quality CBD requires careful and technical work, the cheapest options on the market may not always be the best choice.
  • Determine if the product is certified by the US Hemp Authority, which awards certification to companies with the best CBD products.
  • Check if the company has received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which collates consumer reports and recognizes companies with the best business practices.

CBD buyers may ensure the quality of the products they purchase by checking the product label. A product label must contain the following information:

  • Amount of CBD per container or CBD concentration
  • Amount of CBD per serving or CBD potency
  • Supplement fact panel
  • List of ingredients
  • Net weight
  • Manufacturer or distributor name
  • Suggested use or dosage
  • Indication that the product contains full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate
  • Batch or date code

There are three BBB-accredited companies in Montana that have zero customer complaints as of November 2020 based on consumer reports collected by the bureau(20).

Where to Buy CBD Products Legally

CBD users in Montana may buy products from various CBD retailers in the state. CBD may also be purchased online, usually through CBD brands’ websites.

However, if CBD buyers in Montana opt to purchase products from physical stores, there are several stores in the state they may visit.

Billings

  • B-Town Vapes 

B-Town Vapes is a vape shop that offers a wide range of CBD products, including CBD oil, e-liquids, and CBD wax. 

B-Town Vapes is open daily, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It is located at 71115th St W, Billings, Montana, 59102.

  • Juicity Vapor

Juicity Vapor offers CBD products from unique brands, including Sexy Smoke, Juicity E-Liquid,  Killer Kloudz, and Sweet Leaf. 

Founded in 2013, the shop is open from Mondays to Saturdays, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It is also open on Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Juicity Vapor may be visited at 1911 King Ave W, Billings, Montana, 59102.

Bozeman

  • CBDKare

Founded in 2017, CBDKare offers CBD products, including CBD oil products, herbal extracts, and CBD creams. 

The shop is open on weekdays, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. It is also open on Saturdays, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

CBDKare’s address is 1502 Gold Ave, Bozeman, Montana, 59715.

The shops mentioned above are recommended to help CBD users easily locate a CBD dispensary anywhere in the state.

If customers are looking for reliable products, it is recommended that they buy from the BBB-accredited shops in Montana(21):

  • Grateful Shed, Bozeman
  • Queen’s Palace, Helena
  • Mount Canna, Corvallis 

Conclusion

Purchasing CBD is legal in the state of Montana. Marijuana laws in the state also legalized medical marijuana for patients with serious medical conditions.  

The use of recreational marijuana is still unregulated in Montana. However, the Montana Department of Revenue plans to make licenses for the sale and growth of recreational marijuana available by October 2021(22).


  1. Montana State Legislature. 2001 Montana Legislature. Senate Bill 261. Retrieved from https://leg.mt.gov/bills/2001/billhtml/SB0261.htm
  2. Montana Secretary of State. 2004 Voter Information Pamphlet. Retrieved from https://sosmt.gov/Portals/142/Elections/archives/2000s/2004/VIP2004.pdf?dt=1523475015122
  3. Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol Policy for Foods. Retrieved from https://dphhs.mt.gov/Portals/85/publichealth/documents/FCS/cbdandhempguide7.17.19.pdf
  4. Better Business Bureau. Retrieved from https://www.bbb.org/search?find_country=USA&find_loc=helena%2C%20MT&find_text=cbd%20oil&page=1&sort=Relevance
  5. Montana State Legislature. Op cit.
  6. LegiScan. MT SB176 | 2019 | Regular Session. Retrieved from https://legiscan.com/MT/bill/SB176/2019
  7. Montana Secretary of State. Op cit.
  8. Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.Op cit.
  9. Ibid
  10. Montana Secretary of State. Op cit.
  11. National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Montana Laws and Penalties. Retrieved from https://norml.org/laws/montana-penalties-2/
  12. Ibid
  13. Hemppedia. Is CBD legal in all 50 states? – The complete 2020 Guide. Retrieved from https://hemppedia.org/cbd-oil-legal-us/
  14. Montana State Legislature. Op cit.
  15. LegiScan. Op cit.
  16. Montana Secretary of State. Op cit.
  17. The Montana Department of Agriculture. Montana State Hemp Program. Retrieved from https://agr.mt.gov/Industrial-Hemp
  18. The Montana Department of Agriculture. State of Montana Hemp Plan. Retrieved from https://agr.mt.gov/Portals/168/Documents/IndustrialHemp/MTHempPlan.pdf
  19. Montana State Legislature. Op cit.
  20. Better Business Bureau. Op cit.
  21. Ibid
  22. The Montana Department of Agriculture. Montana Department of Revenue Has Begun Process to Make Licenses Available for Recreational Marijuana Cultivation and Sale. Retrieved from https://agr.mt.gov/News/montana-department-of-revenue-has-begun-process-to-make-licenses-available-for-recreational-marijuana-cultivation-and-sale
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