Montana Dispensary Owners Seek Stronger Regulations

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Some Montana marijuana dispensaries are asking for more-stringent regulations to avoid a repeat of 2011 when federal agents swooped in a shut down several cannabis producers and dispensaries.

Roger Petersen, whose company has grown and dispensed marijuana since 2010, said he takes careful steps to work within the law and make his business as transparent as possible, according to a report by KPAX TV in Missoula. While more competition is good for the industry, less-scrupulous business owners may not follow the rules, he said.

“If too many dispensaries pop up and they have flashy advertising and billboards it’s going to polarize people,” one provider told the station.

A district judge passed an injunction that allows providers to grow four plants and dispense one ounce per patient, the report said. If new entries to the market don’t follow the law, that could set back the Montana marijuana industry and make it more difficult for cannabis companies law to conduct business, Petersen said. In 2010, before the raids, about 20 medical marijuana businesses operated in Missoula – now there are six.

“They’re always going to be looking at somebody, so if they run out of all the bad guys then it’s just the good guys left,” he told KPAX.