Montana regulators are proposing strict new rules for people working in the state’s marijuana industry that would end employment eligibility for anyone with a criminal conviction within the past three years. And that would include offenses like simple cannabis possession that have been made legal under the state’s new law. It’s a move that advocates say would undermine the social justice objectives of legalization and defies the intent of lawmakers who advanced legislation to implement legalization after voters approved it on the ballot last year. Under the rules proposed by the Montana Department of Revenue (DOR) on Wednesday, regulators listed a series of factors that are “grounds for suspension or revocation of a worker permit.” That includes any “conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest to a criminal offense within three years of the application or renewal.” DOR specified that the prohibition involves a violation of “any provision of the marijuana laws,” including those of other states. A public hearing on the proposed rules is scheduled for November 30, and comments are being accepted until December 6. The broad employment language is distinct from what workers in other state-legal cannabis markets are subjected to.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 11/03/2021 12:51:00

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