There are currently about 40,000 medical patients in the state of Montana. We are thrilled to have an industry that can provide them with safe and effective medicine. Yet we believe that all adults should have the right to consume cannabis responsibly. Recreational cannabis will provide an avenue for infrequent consumers to purchase cannabis, and for out-of-state visitors to enjoy legal cannabis during their stay in our beautiful state.
Furthermore, many Montanans, including military veterans, are still unable to access the medical marijuana program because of federal policies instituted by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
It took the passage of Initiative 190, our adult-use legalization bill, to usher in statewide decriminalization and legal homegrow, which both went into effect on January 1, 2021. No adult should be treated as a criminal for responsibly consuming or growing a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol.
Lastly, in light of both declining natural resource revenue and the coronavirus pandemic, Montana is hungry for the revenue generated by legal cannabis. We are happy and proud to create an industry that supports the state we love so dearly.