Elinor Smith from the University of Montana School of Journalism is providing New Media Broadcasters with reports from the Montana legislative session. This is one of her reports:
HELENA — The House Business and Labor Committee is considering a series of bills that seek to clarify regulation of marijuana sales in Montana, addressing issues from medical versus recreational use to the smell of marijuana manufacturing.
The most extensive bill heard at a committee meeting Wednesday is sponsored by Rep. Josh Kassmier, R-Fort Benton. House Bill 128 would clarify rules and penalties surrounding the sale of marijuana in Montana, switch laboratory regulation to the purview of the Department of Revenue and control the number of businesses open to the recreational market in Montana, along with other regulations.
The 19 proponents of the bill said it was a great compromise between businesses and regulatory agencies. Pepper Petersen represented the Montana Cannabis Guild and he underscored that the bill was created in the interim with stakeholders.
“I really like most of this bill. We worked hard on it with the committee. We spent a lot of hours talking about these details,” Petersen said.
There were six opponents of the bill, who said that HB 128, while well intentioned, could have unintended consequences. Most proponents of the bill also proposed amendments on the bill because the scope of its impacts are so broad.
Maggie Bornstein spoke for the ACLU of Montana as an…
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