The Montana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that medical marijuana providers should be paid for their services, but it clamped down on commercial sales of the drug by limiting providers to no more than three patients each.
The court’s decision upheld other provisions of a 2011 state law that represents one of the most significant rollbacks attempted by the 23 states and Washington, D.C., that allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes.
The law, meant to curb abuses that led to a flourishing marijuana industry in Montana five years ago, would have banned medical pot providers from receiving any compensation. The court said the sales ban would leave some patients with debilitating illnesses with no available source for the drug.
However, the court upheld the requirement that marijuana providers can take on a maximum of three patients each.
“The Legislature determined that placing a limit on the number of registered cardholders a provider may assist serves the objectives of keeping marijuana away from large-scale manufacturing operations, making it less appealing to major traffickers,” according to the majority opinion written by…