Equity Project State Briefing

Social Equity

Social Equity Definition / Criteria

Montana does not have a state social equity program.

Social Equity Provisions

Montana does not have a state social equity program.

License Priorities and Set Asides

  • License Priorities / Set Asides:

Montana does not have any specific licensure set asides for social equity operators, nor is there any state level licensing priority given for social equity applicants. Per HB 701, between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, the department may only accept applications from and issue licenses to former medical marijuana licensees that were licensed by or had an application pending with the department of public health and human services on or before November 3, 2020.


Montana Department of Revenue, Cannabis Control Division Important Information Regarding Licensing. . Retrieved January 13, 2022

Fee Waivers and Reductions

  • Fee Waivers / Reductions:

Montana does not offer fee waivers or reductions for application or licensure fees.

Other Financial Support for Social Equity Applicants and Licensees

Montana does not offer state level funding to support individuals who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition.

Other Licensing Provisions

License Caps

  • License Caps:

Montana limits available licenses, however this cap only applies to the number of combined-use marijuana licenses. The department may issue a total of eight combined-use marijuana licenses to entities. These entities include, a federally recognized tribe located in the state, or a business entity that is majority-owned by a federally recognized tribe located in the state. A combined-use marijuana license consists of one tier one canopy license and one dispensary. However, the licensed premises must be located in a jurisdiction that permits the operation of a marijuana as jurisdictions must opt in to participate in the adult use sector.


Capitol Tracker HB 701: Generally revise marijuana laws. Retrieved January 21, 2022
HB 701. Subsections 1, 2, & 3

Application Selection Process

  • Selection System:

Montana has a merit-based award system used to distribute adult use licenses.

Felony Disqualification on Ownership

  • Ownership Exclusion for Felony Convictions:
  • Exemption for Cannabis Offenses:

Montana’s adult use framework disqualifies applicants for cannabis licensure on the basis of their conviction history. The department may not issue a license if (1) the applicant is currently under department of corrections supervision, (2) if the applicant has been convicted of fraud under the states medical marijuana program or (3)  if the applicant has a felony conviction or a conviction for a drug offense, including but not limited to, a conviction for a violation of any marijuana law in any other state within the past 5 years, and after an investigation, the department finds that the applicant has not been sufficiently rehabilitated as to warrant the public trust.


Mont. Code § 16-12-203. Licensing types - requirements - limitations - activities. Subsection (2)(a)

Employee Criminal Records

  • Conviction Restrictions for Employees:
  • Exemption for Cannabis Offenses:

A marijuana worker permit is required for an employee who performs work on behalf of a cannabis business. State law requires that applicants for a marijuana worker’s permit respond to questions concerning their conviction history and during the course of employment report any convictions within 10 days. The statute does not specify any disqualifying offenses or procedures for considering an applicant’s criminal history. 

Montana regulators are currently proposing an employment disqualification for folks with  felony convictions within the last three years. A public hearing on the proposed rules was held on November 30, 2021, however the results of the proposed regulations have not yet been published.

UPDATE: New rules effective 02/01/2022. See HB 701


Mont. Admin. R. 42.39.113. [Repealed effective 1/1/2022] Marijuana Employee Permit
Mont. Code Tit. 16 Chapter 12, Part 2. Licensing and Regulation. Subsections (3)(a)(v) and (7)
Before the Department of Revenue of the State of Montana Notice of Public Hearing Proposed Adoption. Page 9

Availability of Expungements

  • Expungements:
Yes, Not Automatic

Montana offers record cleaning for certain cannabis convictions, however the process is not automatic. Individuals with qualifying cannabis convictions may ask the court to expunge or reduce their conviction.


Mont. Code § 16-12-113.