Applications for medical marijuana cards increase since court ruling

Posted at 2:00 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-28 15:00:56-05

State health officials say they have been seen a big increase in applications for new or updated medical marijuana cards.

The increase comes after District Judge James Reynolds ruled on December 7th that a regulation limiting medical marijuana providers to serving only three patients should be immediately lifted.

The change was part of voter-approved Initiative 182, which Montana voters passed in November.

Because of a drafting error, it had initially been scheduled to take effect in July.

Within a week of the decision, the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services received about 1,300 requests.

About 70% of the requests were change request forms from current cardholders, most wanting to name a new provider.

The three-patient limit had required thousands of patients to become their own provider.

The other 30% of the requests were applications to become a new medical marijuana cardholder or provider.

DPHHS public information officer Jon Ebelt. told MTN News, “We certainly have seen an increase in workload with change request orders and new cardholder applications. So far the applications are coming in at a steady pace, but we’ve been able to keep up with it.”

Ebelt says it’s currently taking about two or three days for DPHHS to process a change form for current cardholders.

New applications are taking three to four days.

DPHHS is expected to release its first full-month statistics since the judge’s ruling in early January.