Montana House Passes Bill to Legalize Some Raw Milk Sales

By Michael Maharrey

Today, the Montana House passed a bill that would legalize limited raw milk sales in the state. Passage into law would take an important step toward rejecting a federal prohibition scheme in effect.

Rep. Nancy Ballance (R-Hamilton) introduced House Bill 325 (HB325) on Jan. 26. The legislation would authorize limited sales of raw milk from producer to consumer.

Current Montana law prohibits raw milk sales.

The House passed HB325 by a 69-30 vote.

Under the proposed law, a “small dairy,” would not be required to obtain a license to produce dairy products. This would allow them to sell raw milk direct to the consumer. The amended bill defines a small dairy as a place with no more than five lactating cows, 10 lactating goats or 10 lactating sheep. Under the original bill, a small dairy would have been allowed to have twice as many animals.

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