The State of Cannabis Legislation & Licensing in Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming [2023]

Cannabis Business Licensing in Nevada | Nevada Cannabis Business Licensing | Cannabis Business Licensing in Wyoming | Cannabis Business Licensing in Idaho | Cannabis Business Licensing in Montana

Licensing and legislation for each state’s cannabis market are in constant motion. As laws, ordinances and business licenses evolve, it is imperative for those in the industry to maintain the most current knowledge in order to expand their commercial endeavors legally. Below are updated license opportunities and cannabis laws for the states of Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.

Cannabis legislation in Idaho

The most recent action in Idaho regarding cannabis legislation is House Bill 370, which was introduced on March 24, 2023, by House Health and Welfare Chairman John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, as a personal bill. Labeled as The Idaho Medical Cannabis Act, the bill amends and adds to existing law to authorize and regulate the use of medical cannabis for in-state patients diagnosed with a serious medical condition such as cancer, AIDS, Crohn’s disease, wasting syndrome, epilepsy, debilitating seizures and others. Qualifying patients would be eligible for a medical cannabis card valid for one year, and the card would be renewable.

HB 370 varies from legislation in other states as it defines medical cannabis as ingestible and processed into a chewable, droplet, pill or tablet format limited to 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Patients would only be able to acquire medical cannabis from an Idaho licensed pharmacist, and smoking or vaping cannabis would remain illegal, as well as possessing cannabis in its raw form.

As the Gem State is still working on legalization, potential cannabis business licensing in Idaho remains nebulous.

Cannabis business licensing in Montana

Regarding cannabis business licensing in Montana, the industry will remain closed to new entrants for at least two more years. This update is per two House bills signed into law recently:

  • HB 128 extended an existing moratorium on new licenses until July 1, 2025. On the plus side, this same bill gives tribal nations the same privileges as other cannabis businesses, and all eight tribal nations in the state are guaranteed cannabis permits.
  • HB 903 mandates that holders of multiple licenses must pay higher fees. An initial license now costs $5,000, with each additional permit costing an additional $5,000.

Further changes in Montana cannabis laws include a state lawmaker override of the Governor’s veto of a bill to use cannabis taxes to fund the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program and maintain county roads. The Governor’s veto was challenged in court by the Montana Association of Counties (MACO), Wild Montana and the Montana Wildlife Federation, who alleged that the governor violated the state’s constitution by waiting until after the state Senate session ended before submitting his veto of the legislation.

Cannabis business licensing in Nevada

In late July, cannabis business licensing in Nevada officially launched a new category by the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB): the first independent cannabis consumption lounge. This approval paves the way for the first social-use cannabis lounges in the state to begin operation in the fall.

A year ago, 40 prospective licenses were awarded and in June 2023, three dispensaries received conditional licenses from CCB to open their lounges. Overall, the State of Nevada Department of Taxation is not currently accepting applications for licenses or medical marijuana registration certificates. The Department will issue a 45-day notice prior to the opening of an application period.

Regarding recent cannabis legalization in Nevada, Governor Joe Lombardo recently signed a collection of cannabis bills into law, which more than double The Battle Born State’s personal possession limit as well as remove other industry restrictions, such as reducing licensing and renewal fees, removing the medical license requirement for adult-use shops to serve medical patients and now requiring officials to consider how future changes to the industry could impact the environment.

Cannabis legislation in Wyoming

Cannabis remains strictly illegal here. Therefore, no news is available in the realm of cannabis legislation in Wyoming nor any cannabis business licensing in Wyoming. Although cannabis itself is not allowed for medical purposes, a 2015 law allows the use of non-psychoactive Cannabidiol to treat seizures. The 2023 legislative session ended with no action on cannabis policy reform proposals. Local activists have vowed to reinvigorate efforts to place cannabis policy reform measures before voters after a previous campaign fell short of the signature-gathering requirements of 29,730 valid voter signatures.

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This article was originally published Aug. 6, 2019. It was updated Aug. 15, 2023.

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