Montana Lawmakers Pass HB 701 To Implement Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization

The Montana legislature passed a House bill on Tuesday to implement the recreational marijuana legalization initiative passed by voters in the November election. The measure, HB 701, was passed by the Montana House of Representatives with a vote of 67 to 32 after being approved previously by the state Senate. The bill is now headed to the office of Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, who is expected to sign the legislation.

House Bill 701 implements Initiative 190, an adult-use cannabis legalization measure that was passed by Montana voters in last year’s general election. The measure is one of three bills drafted to enact Initiative 190 that were approved by the House earlier this month.

HB 701 Nearly Failed Before Passage

Only House Bill 701 was approved by the Senate, but only after being heavily amended in the upper chamber of the legislature. Republicans in the House rejected the amended version in a vote on Monday, in part over the allocation of cannabis taxes to conservation efforts as directed by Initiative 190.

At that point, the bill was on the verge of being assigned to a conference committee where House and Senate lawmakers would address differences in their respective versions of the legislation. However, Rep. Mike

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