Marijuana legalization opponents moved to drop a lawsuit filed on their behalf that sought to nullify an adult-use marijuana legalization measure that was approved by Montana voters during the November 2020 election.

The suit claimed that the initiative language was unconstitutional because it earmarked a portion of tax revenues from retail marijuana sales. Plaintiffs contended that only the legislature can determine how tax revenue is spent.

The groups claim that the lawsuit is not needed after Governor Greg Gianforte (R) signed HB 701 into law that amends the 2020 voter-approved adult-use legalization law. A motion to dismiss their own lawsuit was filed last week.

“While we hoped to see this process proceed successfully, we instead will champion the work done in the legislature to pass HB 701 into law,” said the director of one of the opposition groups in a statement. “We are proud to say that as a result of HB 701, Montana will move forward with some of the tightest regulations on the marijuana industry in the country.”

The suit sought to void the entirety of the initiative language, not just the portion of the initiative relevant to appropriating tax revenues. Litigants filed a similar legal challenge just prior to the election, but the Supreme Court declined to hear the case at that time.

Fifty-seven percent of Montana voters decided in favor of Initiative 190 legalizing the adult-use marijuana market.


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