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Montana proposes advertising changes to marijuana industry
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Montana proposes advertising changes to marijuana industry

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Election 2020 Marijuana Legalization

Montana Advanced Caregivers owner Richard Abromeit talks about different strains of marijuana stored in a refrigerator at the Billings medical marijuana dispensary on Nov. 11. 

The Montana Department of Revenue has offered its proposed rule changes to the state's medical and incoming recreational marijuana industries. 

The department will hold a public hearing in the auditorium of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services on the rule changes at 9 a.m. on Aug. 13.

House Bill 249, sponsored by Republican Rep. Matt Regier of Kalispell, set new rules for the industry's ability to advertise through electronic means, but gave the Department of Revenue authority to adopt and implement electronic advertising rules. 

The proposed changes would allow the industry some new advertising leeway as businesses ramp up for the recreational market, which is set to begin in January, although those rules would remain restrictive. 

The proposed changes, available at the Department of Revenue's Cannabis Control Division website, would include requiring businesses to list on their advertisements warnings about cannabis' "intoxicating effects" and potential to be "habit forming," among other concerns. The size of these disclaimers would have to be at least 10% of the largest type used in the advertisement. 

Businesses would be allowed only two outdoor signs and would be prohibited from using any depiction of marijuana, such as a pot leaf. All advertising would also be allowed only in black font. A green cross would also be allowed to signal the business as a medical marijuana provider; for the first 18 months of the recreational market, only existing medical marijuana providers will be allowed to sell recreational cannabis.

The rules would go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

The public comment deadline is Aug. 23. Comments can be submitted to rule reviewer Todd Olson at todd.olson@mt.gov.

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