A cannabis conference at the state Capitol on Friday will help patients and providers navigate Montana's medical marijuana laws.

After voters approved the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, legislators during the 2017 session created regulations on testing, manufacturing and taxing of medical marijuana. The state health department is responsible for drafting more rules to administer the program. Cannabis Way, a nonprofit formed after its passage, is partnering with local and state leaders to educate people on new and changing aspects of the industry at the Montana Cannabis Conference.

Representatives from the Department of Revenue, state health department and Department of Agriculture plan to hold panels on cultivation, testing labs, economic development and compliance at the state, federal and local level.

"It's exciting to see bipartisan support for research and access to safe medicine," Rep. Ellie Hill Smith, D-Missoula, said in a statement. "I know that my constituents are equally interested in the estimated $70 million in sales revenue that will be felt around the state in 2018."

People in the industry will discuss patient access and different applications, such as edibles.

According to a Billings Gazette story, 611 providers and 22,319 medical marijuana patients are registered with the state health department as of January.

The conference is free and open to the public. It starts at 10 a.m. in the Old Supreme Court Chambers, with panels until 4 p.m.

Conference schedule

  • 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.: The Farmers: Industrial Hemp, Cultivation Science, Smart Cultivation Solutions Rooted in Experience
  • 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.: Metrc: Safe Regulation through Seed to Sale Tracking
  • 11:15 a.m. to noon: Marijuana Infused Products Providers: Extraction Scientists and Edible Chefs Sourcing Your Patient Needs
  • Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Break
  • 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Analytical Testing Labs: From Quality Assurance to Saving Lives
  • 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.: Show Me the Money: Taxes and Economic Development
  • 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Patient Centered Access: Opioid Addiction, Veterans and Native Issues, Chronic Pain, Criminal Justice Reform
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.: Leave Your Lawyer Jokes at the Door! Regulatory Compliance, State and Federal Law, Local Government Ordinances
  • 3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Building a Cannabis Community: Relationships Matter, Education, and Advertising