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About 1,300 have applied for medical marijuana cards

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HELENA (AP) – The state Department of Public Health and Human Services has received about 1,300 applications for medical marijuana cards since a judge’s Dec. 7 ruling that allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to re-open.

Health department spokesman Jon Ebelt said Tuesday the total includes both new applications and forms requesting a change of provider. He tells the Independent Record that about 70 percent of the applications have been processed.

The Legislature passed a law in 2011 limiting medical marijuana providers to three patients each. After a five-year court battle, medical marijuana dispensaries were forced to close in August.

Montana voters in November approved an initiative that struck down the provider limit. However, the wording of the initiative said the change would take effect on July 1, 2017. District Judge James Reynolds ruled last week that the ballot initiative would take effect immediately.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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