In the two months since Montana’s adult-use cannabis legalization bill was voted into law, speculation has swirled that conservative state legislators intended to rip it to shreds. As the state Legislature opened its session last week, that opposition didn’t take long to appear. Right out of the gate, Republican state Rep. Bill Mercer stripped a $1.35 million request to fund a marijuana regulatory agency out of a House appropriations bill.

A brief media storm ensued.

Mercer’s move, however, may not be indicative of the long-term prospects for constructive cannabis measures in Helena.

While it wasn’t good news, legalization advocates suspect Mercer was simply making a procedural move to ensure there are sufficient funds to combat COVID-19 in the…

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