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Montana changes course on medical pot requirements

Montana changes course on medical pot requirements

HELENA, Mont. - Montana health officials have changed tack and are now applying stricter criteria to issuing medical marijuana registration cards.

The first phase of a new restrictive medical marijuana law went into effect May 14. It did away with the state health department's powers to issue marijuana cards under the old law.

The new law gives the department powers to issue cards again after June 1.

A department spokesman previously said the agency would continue to issue cards under the old law until June 20 because of confusion over the changes.

But the department's website, updated Monday, says patients who now apply for a card must meet new requirements for chronic pain.

The law's author, Sen. Jeff Essmann, says the department is violating the law by issuing cards before June 1.

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