An attorney for a medical marijuana industry group is asking a judge to block a new Montana law eliminating the sale of medical pot before it takes effect next month.

James Goetz, attorney for the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, told Helena District Judge James Reynolds Monday that the law is unconstitutional.

Assistant attorney general Jim Molloy defended the new law, saying it is in line with what voters intended when they authorized medical marijuana use in 2004.

Molloy says the plaintiffs are trying to preserve their own commercial interests.

The new law will effectively put commercial growers out of business by barring pot providers from making a profit. It also places additional checks on eligible conditions for qualifying for the drug and on the doctors who certify medical marijuana patients.

Associated Press