Cities Still Figuring Out a Way on How to Distribute Pot

Cities Still Figuring Out a Way on How to Distribute Pot

10/10/2011

 

Among issues being discussed in Montana right now is the prospect of medical marijuana being transformed into a legitimate business and if it so, figuring out the best way of proceeding with regards to its production and distribution.

These are the same issues that were debated upon during Tuesday’s Burton K. Wheeler Center Conference in Helena.

According to Tammi Fisher, a practicing attorney and the mayor of Kalispell, in order for medical marijuana to qualify as a legitimate industry in the state, laws needed to be changed first at the federal level.

During the early 2010, regulations were voted upon by the Kalispell City Council, stating that no business within the city limits can run in violation of federal law. That city ordinance in effect outlawed the medical-marijuana grow operations and dispensaries within Kalispell since pot is considered illegal under federal laws.

The main concern of Fisher was that the funds being received by Kalispell through federal grants would be withdrawn if the city permits businesses to run in violation of federal laws.

She said, “I looked at it strictly as a breach of contract.”

The city council did consider, with some council members in favor of, rejecting federal grant funds. However, this would mean cutting the budget of the city by around $11 million, which is something that the city could not afford.

Fisher stated, “We were just not in a position, or I wasn’t in a position where I could say, thanks for the money, but I’m going to support (an ordinance) in the city of Kalispell knowing it’s in violation of federal law.”

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com