HELENA — Montana health officials have begun issuing new medical marijuana cards as part of the state's overhaul of its marijuana industry.
The new law granted the Department of Public Health and Human Services powers on Wednesday to write temporary rules to issue the cards.
Agency spokesman Jon Ebelt said the department has processed about 500 applications so far.
The new card rules involve a more restrictive system of forms and procedures for patients and growers to register with the state.
There are several new application forms for patients and providers can only register as a grower after being named by a provider.
Permanent rules will go into effect July 1 when the full force of the new law goes into effect and marijuana is required to be given away for free.