Having precisely the impact opponents feared it would– and legislators intended– medical marijuana dispensaries across Montana closed their doors as new state-imposed restrictions took effect Wednesday that limit cannabis providers to three patients apiece, leaving thousands of medical marijuana users legally registered in a state without a legal way to buy it.  The access restrictions begin twelve years after voters approved the sale of medical marijuana in Montana, and five years since legislators fought to roll back the law.

 
An estimated 12,000 patients are losing legal access to pot because their providers did not choose them as one of their three patients.  There were 13,190 registered patients at the end of July, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.  Dispensaries posted Facebook messages to their patients that they were closing Tuesday.  Some offered their products at discounts, while others gave away inventory before closing down.