After a judge's ruling, the Montana advocacy group that sought to delay restrictions on the state medical marijuana program is urging supporters to focus on passing a November ballot initiative that would roll back the restrictions. Pictured: Marijuana plants grow in a Denver commercial cultivation facility. (Denver Post file)

No stopping major restrictions on Montana medical marijuana

On Aug. 31, everything will change with three-patient limit on medical marijuana providers

HELENA, Mont. — A Helena judge has rejected an advocacy group’s request to delay enforcement of restrictions on Montana’s medical marijuana industry.

District Judge James Reynolds on Wednesday denied the Montana Cannabis Industry Association’s request to stay a state Supreme Court order implementing the restrictions on Aug. 31.

The group on its website urges medical marijuana supporters to now focus on passing a ballot initiative that would roll back the restrictions.

After Aug. 31, medical marijuana providers will be barred from selling the drug to more than three patients. The state Supreme Court earlier this year upheld that provision of a 2011 state law passed after the Montana Cannabis Industry Association sued to block it.

The association has said the rollbacks would force the closure of dispensaries and leave patients without a legal way to obtain the drug.