Montana Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine 
Possession
Personal Use
60g or less(first offense) Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
60g or less(second offense) Misdemeanor 3 years $ 1,000
More than 60g Felony 5 years $ 50,000
With intent to distribute
Any amount Felony 20 years $ 50,000
Sale or Delivery
Any amount with or without compensation Felony 1 year* - life $ 50,000
From an adult to a minor Felony 2 years* $ 50,000
Within 1000 feet of school grounds Felony 3 years* - life $ 50,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence
Cultivation
1 lb or less or 30 plants or less Felony 10 years $ 50,000
More than 1 lb or more than 30 plants Felony 2 years - life $ 50,000
Second or subsequent offense is punishable by twice the term of imprisonment and twice the authorized fine.
Hash & Concentrates
Possession of 1 gram or less (first offense) Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
Possession of 1 gram or less (subsequent offense) Misdemeanor 3 years $ 1,000
Possession of more than 1 g Felony 5 years $ 1,000
Manufacture Felony 10 years $ 50,000
Penalties for the sale or possession with the intent to sell hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.
Paraphernalia
Possession, manufacture, or delivery of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
To a person under 18 who is at least 3 years younger Misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Vehicles and other property may be seized.
Miscellaneous
Use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture Felony 10 years N/A
Continuing criminal enterprise results is a felony punishable by double or triple fine and imprisonment.
Possession of marijuana on a train results in additional penalties.
Storing marijuana results in additional fines.
Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor must attend a mandatory drug education course.
Imprisonment for felonies may be eligible for suspended or deferred imposition, which may include commitment to a drug treatment facility, community service, or driver's license revocations.
Penalty Details
Marijuana is a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance under the Controlled Substances Chapter of the Montana Code Annotated. It is also considered a dangerous drug.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 50-32-101 Web Search
Montana Code Ann. § 50-32-222(4)(t) Web Search
Possession for Personal Use
Possession of 60 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of $100 - $500. A second offense is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of more than 60 grams is a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-102 Web Search
Possession with Intent to Distribute
Possession of any amount of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-103(3) Web Search
Sale/Delivery
Distribution of any amount of marijuana, with or without compensation, is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 1 year and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-101(4) Web Search
Distribution of any amount, with or without compensation, from an adult to a minor is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000. Penalties significantly increase for repeat offenses.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-101(5) Web Search
Distribution of any amount, with or without compensation, within 1,000 feet of school grounds is a felony punishable by a minimum of 3 years and maximum of life imprisonment and a fine up to $50,000. It is an affirmative defense to this charge if the distribution occurred within the confines of a private residence and no one under the age of 18 was present in the residence.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-109 Web Search
Cultivation
Cultivation of up to 1 pound or 30 plants of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $50,000. Cultivation of more than 1 pound or 30 plants is a felony punishable by a minimum of 2 years to a maximum of life imprisonment and a fine up to $50,000. A second or subsequent offense for cultivation of marijuana is punishable by twice the term of imprisonment and twice the authorized fine for the first offense.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-110 Web Search
Hash & Concentrates
Montana lists both Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols in Schedule I of the Montana Controlled Substances Schedule. The statute defines Marijuana as all plant material of the genus Cannabis containing THC. Tetrahydrocannabinols are defined as substances contained in the resinous extractives of Cannabis, not requiring any plant matter be present.

See

Montana Code Ann. §50-32-101 Web Search
Montana Code Ann. §50-32-222 Web Search
The penalties for the sale of any amount of Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols are equal.

See

Montana code Ann. §45-9-101(4) Web Search
The penalties for possession of Tetrahydrocannabinols are differentiated by weight:

For the first offense, possession of 1 gram or less of Tetrahydrocannabinol is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of no less than $100 and no greater than $500, as well as a term of incarceration not to exceed 6 months in a county jail.

For all subsequent offenses, possession of one gram or less of Tetrahydrocannabinol is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in a county jail, or a felony punishable by up to 3 years in a state prison, as well as a fine not to exceed $1000.

Possession of any amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol greater than 1 gram is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in a state prison as well as a fine not to exceed $50,000.

See

Montana Code Ann. §45-9-102(2), (5) Web Search
The penalties for possession with intent to distribute any amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol are equal to those for the possession with intent to distribute any amount of Marijuana.

See

Montana Code Ann. §45-9-103 Web Search
Distribution of Tetrahydrocannabinol within 1000 feet of the real property of a school, whether public or private, elementary or secondary, is a felony punishable by up to life imprisonment, with a 3 year mandatory minimum and a fine not to exceed $50000.

See

Montana Code Ann. §45-9-109 Web Search
For the first offense, manufacture of any amount Tetrahydrocannabinol is a felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $50,000. For any offense occurring after a prior conviction for manufacture of a dangerous drug, manufacture of Tetrahydrocannabinol is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of no less than $100,000.

See

Montana Code Ann. §45-9-110 Web Search
Paraphernalia
Possession, manufacture, or delivery of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 month imprisonment and/or a fine up to $500. However, if the delivery was from a person aged 18 or older to a person under the age of 18 who is at least 3 years younger, then the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-10-103 to 105 Web Search
Sentencing
Imprisonment for felonies involving dangerous drugs may be eligible for suspended or deferred imposition. Conditions of this suspension or deferral may include commitment to a drug treatment facility for up to 1 year, up to 2,000 hours community service in a drug education or treatment facility, driver’s license revocations (6 months for first offense, 1 year for a second offense, and 3 years for a third or subsequent offense), among others.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-202 Web Search
Those convicted of a first-time possession of 60 grams or less offense are presumed to be eligible for deferred imposition of a sentence of imprisonment. For suspended or deferred sentencing of a first time possession offense of under 60 grams, the minimum fine of $100 must be imposed as a condition.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-102 Web Search
Forfeiture
Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations. However, a vehicle may not be seized if it was used or intended for use for transported 60 grams of marijuana or less. Within 45 days of seizure of the property, the seizing agency must file a forfeiture proceeding. The court will then issue a summons and notice to all those with interest in the property. Those with an interest must file an answer within 20 days after the service of the summons, or the property is forfeited to the state.

See

Montana Code Ann. §§ 44-12-102 to 103 Web Search
Montana Code Ann. §§ 44-12-201 to 203 Web Search
Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-206 Web Search
Miscellaneous
Use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture
Use or possession of property that one knows is subject to criminal forfeiture for involvement with drug offenses is a felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-206 Web Search
Continuing criminal enterprise
Any person who commits a felony under the Controlled Substances Chapter which was part of a series of 2 or more violations on separate occasions, included 5 people or more, and from which substantial income was made is guilty of a felony punishable by twice the term of imprisonment and fine authorized for the underlying offense. A second or subsequent violation of this offense results in triple the penalties authorized for the underlying offense.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-125 Web Search
Carrying dangerous drugs on a train
Possession of marijuana on a train is an offense that is punishable by the same penalties of and in addition to the possession itself.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-127 Web Search
Mandatory fine for possession and storage of dangerous drugs
Every person found to have possessed or stored marijuana shall be fined, in addition to other fines, an amount which is 35% of the market value of the marijuana.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-130 Web Search
Mandatory drug education course
Anyone who is convicted of drug offense characterized as a misdemeanor must attend a dangerous drug information course.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-208 Web Search
Suspended or deferred imposition
Imprisonment for felonies involving dangerous drugs may be eligible for suspended or deferred imposition. Conditions of this suspension or deferral may include commitment to a drug treatment facility for up to 1 year, up to 2,000 hours community service in a drug education or treatment facility, driver's license revocations (6 months for first offense, 1 year for a second offense, and 3 years for a third or subsequent offense), among others.

See

Montana Code Ann. § 45-9-202 Web Search
CONDITIONAL RELEASE
The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DRUGGED DRIVING
This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

HEMP
This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. For more information see NORML's Industrial Use section.

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE
When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA
This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.

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