On January 1, 2022, cannabis will finally be available for purchase by all adults 21 and older in the great state of Montana.
While the launch of the legal market in Big Sky country is a cause for celebration, it can also be a bit overwhelming for first-time customers, who may have a lot of questions: How much can (or should) I buy? Are there low-dose edibles for newbies? Which strains are best for my needs?
We’ve got you covered.
Below, you’ll find information about the different types of products that will be available to buy at Montana stores, from flower and edibles to tinctures and concentrates. Trust us, your busy budtenders will thank you for arriving with the basics under your belt.
Read on to make sure your first experience buying Montana cannabis is stress-free, well-informed and fun.
Don’t forget, shoppers: Montana law allows the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, or its equivalent in other products. Your budtender will keep track of your total for you.
All photos courtesy of the respective businesses unless otherwise noted.
Flower and pre-rolls
Welcome to the world of legal cannabis, where good old traditional weed is known as flower, and professionally rolled joints are called pre-rolls.
Flower is sold in various quantities, from one gram (enough for one joint, or two smaller ones) to a full ounce. It’s often sold pre-packaged, although some stores display their cannabis in “deli-style” jars behind a counter, and select your nugs by hand.
Montana’s cannabis providers are enormously proud of their flower. While much of it is grown indoors, some companies use greenhouses and hoop houses as well. There’s a ton of variety. Some shops focus on classics like Blue Dream, Montana Silvertip and Leafly’s 2021 Strain of the Year Dosidos, while others relish in rare and exotic strains, and even craft their own genetics.
Flower can also be purchased in pre-rolled joints, which are typically sold in half-gram or gram sizes.
Like all cannabis products, flower can elicit a range of effects, from mental stimulation and an energetic cerebral buzz to relaxed muscles and enhanced sleep.
In Montana, licensed stores are prohibited from selling flower that contains more than 35% THC.
Be sure to ask budtenders about the strains, and the potency range, that is most appropriate for you.
Many customers prefer consuming their cannabis in edible form. Created with cannabis extracts, or with oils and butters infused with cannabis, these products are extremely discrete, and their effects can last much longer than inhaled cannabis.
We recommend that new consumers start with a low dose, between 2 and 5 milligrams of THC, before venturing upwards.
Edibles are often sold in packages that contain a total of 100mg of THC, with each “portion” dosed at 10mg. Check the package and ask your budtender about the dosage before you leave the sales counter. (Seriously, ask. Everybody wants you to have a good experience.)
A wide range of edibles are available in Montana, from gummies and chocolates to infused olive oils and honey sticks.
Although they aren’t as readily available as other edibles, some customers prefer to consume their cannabis by swallowing capsules. These products are also available at various potencies, and affect the body much like edibles do, as both are absorbed through the body’s gastrointestinal system.
Vape batteries and vape cartridges
Looking for a smoother and more cost-effective way to inhale cannabis? Vaporizer cartridges (aka a vape cart) may be right for you.
A vape cart is a glass cartridge pre-filled with a gram or half-gram of cannabis oil. Most vape carts work in conjunction with a rechargeable vape pen battery, which is sold separately and heats up the oil, activating the various chemical components in it.
Vape carts may also be sold as a single unit with a disposable battery.
To make vape cartridges, concentrated oils are extracted from cannabis plants via a handful of methods, including CO2 solvent-based extraction, distillate or solventless pressed hash rosin, like the Glacier Solventless product featured in the photo above.
Vape carts either contain the oils of a single strain, or a blend of several strains. As such, they are typically marked as either sativa-dominant, indica-dominant or a hybrid of the two.
Customers can also buy cannabis in several extracted and concentrated forms, including shatter, crumble, diamonds and terp sauce. These products are typically vaporized or dabbed.
Cannabis concentrates tend to be extremely potent and are not recommended for novice consumers or consumers with a low THC tolerance.
How to dab cannabis concentrates: oil, shatter, wax, and more
Many cannabis consumers love tinctures, in which cannabis is diluted in oil or alcohol, and administered under the tongue with a dropper. Tinctures are extremely easy to dose, and are available in a wide range of potencies and blends.
Individuals seeking pain relief through cannabis, but aren’t interested in much of a psychoactive effect, may enjoy the effects of infused salves and lotions. These are often infused with THC and CBD. They treat specific areas of the body, such as knees or other joints, without triggering an intoxicating effect.
Bongs, Pipes and Dab Rigs
If you’re in the market for a bong, pipe, dab rig or other smoking accessory, most shops will have you covered.
We also recommend checking out the Bozeman-based company Dangle Supply, whose titanium bongs and wacky curved pipes are meant to withstand all of your outdoor Montana adventures.
Montana’s licensed cannabis stores also sell a wide range of CBD products, from both local brands like Sunshine Medicinals, Green Ridge, and Montana Sungrown, and bigger national names like Wyld and R+R Medicinals. Those products include edibles, topicals, tinctures and more.