City Regulation of Medical Marijuana Coming?

November 10th, 2009 by John Masterson Leave a reply »

UPDATE Nov 30 2009: Missoula is considering an ordinance to restrict marijuana stores.

UPDATE Nov 19 2009Whitefish will soon vote on a total prohibition on medical marijuana businesses.

Close call. The city of Billings considered an “emergency” ordinance to regulate caregiver businesses last night. Had it passed, caregiver gardens would have been classified as “adult” businesses, like porno-shops, and prohibited from operating within 1,000 feet of:

…residential neighborhoods, schools, churches, parks, trails, day care centers, cemeteries and group homes. The ordinance would also prohibit medical marijuana sales as a home business.

Why prohibit caregivers near cemeteries?  Who knows? The more onerous requirement — no home-based businesses. That means caregivers would be required to open retail shops and nurseries obvious to and inspect-able by law enforcement, we assume.

Last night, the medical marijuana ordinance was tabled. So, no ordinance for now, but rest assured they’re working on something still.

It’s clear that some sort of additional legal controls are coming, and it’s possible that will actually be a Good Thing.  Here at NORML we’ve heard numerous stories about unscrupulous caregivers selling substandard product at exorbitant prices, importing Mexican schwag coated in pesticides and selling it as medicine, giving erroneous legal advice to patients and aspiring caregivers, and even ripping patients off.

It’s a bit of the Wild West in the Montana medical marijuana scene right now, and local regulations, preferably drafted with patients and advocates at the table, may be a way to help.

Of course the real solution is to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession for everyone, and create a legal, regulated market for responsible adults. More on that soon.

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  1. Sam says:

    Hopefully, cities will have legitimate caregivers submit there facilities addresses, documents, etc to the city. In return a permit number is issued to the dispensary and the business can begin to pay the city taxes and actually make a positive donation to the community it provides for. Any one second this idea?

  2. Someday I imagine we will all live in a land were men and women alike are free to do what they choose to do with their own bodies. A world were one really does have right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Even if it is sitting at home smoking from a glass pipe.

  3. Jon G says:

    Regulate a medical dispensary like a porn shop? How do the two correlate? maybe they should regulate liquor stores and casinos like porn shops too. those have no actual medicinal value except maybe for fertility in the case of the alcohol.

  4. john says:

    Missoula’s working on city regulation / ordinance to cover medical marijuana caregiver dispensaries now:

    Sam – I am hoping the nascent caregivers association works with cities in this regard.

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