Montana’s largest city bans medical marijuana dispensaries

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Although medical marijuana advocates had hoped for an industry renaissance in Montana after a ballot-box victory in November, at least one major municipality isn’t having it.

The Billings City Council voted to ban medical cannabis dispensaries, meaning the industry won’t have a visible face in the most populous city in Montana, the Billings Gazette reported.

Technically, the vote doesn’t change a law that’s already on the books, since the city enacted an ordinance five years ago to prohibit MMJ storefronts. And currently there are only two in existence, according to the Gazette.

But those two now will likely have to relocate outside city limits to comply with the law, which prohibits new dispensaries, according to the newspaper. However, at least one of the two – Montana Advanced Caregivers – told KTVQ that it would ignore the ban and continue serving patients at its location.

Billings isn’t alone in its decision – scores of municipalities and counties within states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis have decided to ban such businesses within their jurisdictions.

Many of those, however, have later reversed course after observing how much tax revenue was generated in towns that do permit marijuana businesses.