MONTANA: It was hard to avoid noticing medical marijuana just a few years ago in Montana, but a law passed in 2011 reeled in an industry that many said was out of control.
Recent data shows the number of people with medical marijuana cards has dropped from more than 30,000 to about 7,500.
The number of cardholders diagnosed with severe or chronic pain has dropped from more than 23,000 to less than 5,000, and the number of providers has plummeted from more than 4,600 to just 294.
Some even stronger restrictions in Senate Bill 423 that could effectively end the medical marijuana program are held up – for now – in court.
But the bill’s sponsor, Montana State Senator Jeff Essman (R), says the numbers are about where he’d like to see them: “You know for a program that is intended to benefit the truly medically needy, that number is about what I would expect. Number one, most Montanans are relatively happy with the way that the program is functioning now.”