Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Havre City Council needs your help with some ideas as to what to do with Medical Marijuana businesses

The City Council Committee charged with handling zoning and planning again discussed the medical marijuana issue Tuesday night and decided to recommend to the full council that a 90 day moratorium be placed on growers and dispensers of medical marijuana until they could more fully develop a plan.

Suggestions from the audience included an outright ban of medical marijuana and related business in both Havre and Hill County. Committee chairwoman Janet Tretheway suggested a big license fee of between a $1,000 and $5,000 that could be given to someone like a law enforcement agency to monitor and inspect these marijuana businesses. Implementing a business license fee for all businesses has been suggested with a nominal fee paid by everyone so city and county officials would at least know what kind of businesses were operating in city limits and where they were located. Restricting marijuana businesses to specific zoning areas has also been suggested. Havre’s zoning laws presently do restrict business from operating from many residential areas but the problem is that there are currently scores of home businesses operating in violation of present law and the city has done nothing to enforce these laws. Growers had told this committee at earlier meetings that they were “legitimate” and just want to be able to do business like every other business. People attending these meeting have also voiced concerns about the safety of their children if these businesses are allowed in residential areas, the likelihood that illegal sales of marijuana will increase to high school kids, there could be a decrease in their home value if a perspective buyer knew a marijuana business was in the neighborhood. One thing that seems apparent is that under the current State of Montana Department of Health there is virtually no oversight or regulation of these grow operations. There is not an adequate policy in place to regulate this “industry”

Considering the fact that there is two distinct sides to this issue what do our readers think can be done to make everyone reasonably happy. We would like to hear your ideas. We have heard plenty from the growers and users that think this is all a wonderful drug with many benefits and the status quo is wonderful. We have also heard plenty from the folk that think allowing this to continue is a travesty of justice and not what the voters intended when they passed this law. We understand that there are two sides to every issue but what can be reasonably done to end this current problem? We would like to hear some concrete well thought out suggestions as to what a possible solution would be to this problem that both sides could live with. Some of your local city council people do read this blog. Let’s give them some ideas

The committee’s recommendation for a 90 day moratorium will be made and voted upon by the full council at next Monday’s council meeting at 7pm in city hall


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  2. The caretakers should meet in executive session with the committee and negotiate a reasonable solution.

    The caretakers could offer to pay a reasonable tax or fee for legit inspections of their operations.

    The committe could request such things as tasteful advertising and promotion, parking issues, and fire code issues.

    It should be considered that these caretakers have a propietary(sp?) interest in the cessation and prosecution of unlawful drug transactions and that could be very beneficial to the community.

    This is a very solvable issue

  3. The whole problem is that the city has all these laws and ordinances and they do not enforce any of them.

    Vehicles and trailers parked for months on end on the street - no enforcement/ Current home based businesses operating outside of current zoning and in residential areas, and have for years - no enforcement/ City building codes - no enforcement and no inspections when you buy a permit even/ Garbage blowing out of uncovered loads being hauled to the dump and littering - no enforcement/

    Like it said in the paper, there hasn't been any zoning updates since the 70's

    I think the state of mont is to blame for all of this. They made the regulations and didn;t take in to consideration what the voters voted for exactly, they didn't put any enforcement arm in the MM guidlines, and there is no fees to allow for overseeing this business.

    We need some change in government people at our capital also

  4. We can call for change at the govt level all we want, but the problem is right here right now. Solutions - we need solutions! We called for change at the school board level and look what we got! One candidate.........

    City Council members if you are listening.

    * Allow in Industrial/Commercial Zones only, should not be in a residential dwelling with children presently living within the dwelling.

    * Reasonable Operation fee to allow for inspection by local law enforcement or a special task force funded by the local fees.

    * Limit the number of operations within this city. (Like the issuance of the liquor licenses is limited)

    *Request reasonable standards of operation of their business, so as to create a legitimate business climate. If these growers want to be considered legit, then they need to operate as such.

    *Mandatory alarm system that is connected to the City Police Station, I believe "Real" Pharmacies may operate this way currently. If the operator is out of the building, the place is secured and in "lockdown".

    *Besides the operational fees require a mandatory financial contribution to a community drug awareness education program for the local children thru HELP or the Boys & Girls Club.

    OR adopt the Federal Drug Laws until the state of mt gets guidelines and rules on the books.

    Thank you.

  5. Those are some great ideas Lois.

    What worries me is that our kids see this business and the use of mary jane as cool and there is nothing being done to make sure it isn't sold illegally. I don't have any faith that the known growers, who were also dope dealers before it was legal, will be responsible and not sell illegally to my kids. I am just being rational, they broke the law selling before this medical license was voted on, why wouldn't they break the law now? (and no, the police will not even look their way if they know they have a card so don't tell me the police will stop the illegal transactions)

    The state didn't fund it, Havre said they have no funds to oversee anything, and also said the state won't even tell our police were these operations are located, the county if just waiting to see what the city does because they sure can't join together and do anything.

    Funds and oversight seem to be everyones concern but how can you set a fee for these guys and not the rest of the downtown stores?

    Maybe a group of the very citizens that are upset with these growers should be appointed to inspect these growers? Or a couple growers and a couple of the anti-bunch I am sure they would do it for free

    Is the boys and girls club also going to sponsor "stings" like they do to see if the bar tenders will serve minors?

  6. Alot of great ideas,zone the business commercially,get rid of the big potleaf and advertise tastefully,the police can do walk throughs and stings like they do at all the bars.Anyone caught selling to minors or nonpatients should be jailed and fined.And get rid of bob kaul because he's a closed minded idiot.

  7. To superman:you must live on the good side of town,because on my side they always enforce camper parking and if my car hasn,t been moved for awhile i get an orange warning.My folks owned a restaurant and vincent was always making sure they were in compliance ,so in fact they do enforce the ordinances.

  8. denver and the west
    Suthers: Medical marijuana dispensaries subject to sales tax, retail license laws
    By Tim Hoover
    The Denver Post

    Responding to a query from Gov. Bill Ritter's office, Suthers, a Republican, said, "Medical marijuana is tangible property that is generally subject to state sales tax."

    The opinion also said medical marijuana dispensaries must obtain retail sales licenses from the state.

    Medical marijuana advocates applauded the opinion as a step in the right direction, saying the industry had been working on proposals to enact some sort of tax.

    "I think the community is willing to pay taxes if it will help prove the legitimacy of their efforts," said Courtney Tanning, executive director of

    "It (medical marijuana) has been an underground, black market community for so long that I think they're really willing to come out and pay dues to be taken seriously."

  9. denver and the west
    Colorado senator wants tax on medical marijuana
    By John Ingold
    The Denver Post
    Posted: 02/26/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
    Updated: 02/26/2010 01:43:04 AM MST

    Bill lets med pot shops stay, but as non-profitsA state senator said Thursday he wants to ask voters to impose a special tax on medical marijuana.

    Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, said he intends to amend a bill that creates regulations for medical-marijuana dispensaries to include a provision that places an excise tax on medical marijuana, similar to the special excise tax that already exists for alcohol. Because of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, that provision — if first approved by lawmakers — must be put before the voters before the tax could be imposed.

    Romer wants to use the resulting revenue — which he hopes to be about $10 million to $15 million annually — to fund drug education programs for teens, substance- abuse treatment centers, and

    Find the latest news on medical marijuana from The Denver Post.
    medical care for veterans and the poor. Romer said he is concerned the state's boom in medical-marijuana use could create a companion boom in recreational marijuana use among young people.

    The idea received a cautious reception from medical-marijuana advocates.

    Attorney Rob Corry said he's intrigued by the idea but would first need to see more specifics.

    "With taxation comes legitimacy," Corry said. "This industry is one of the few that is asking to be taxed and legitimized to join the rest of the business world."

    The measure would be inserted into House Bill 1284, which creates new requirements for the state's medical-marijuana dispensaries, and is just one of several changes the bill will likely see when it comes up for its first hearing next week.

  10. I wouldn'h hold my breath waiting for these legal businesses to come forward with ideas on how to self impose fees and special taxes on themselves so they can be inspected for violations of non-existing codes. Making special circumstantial zoning laws would not only be unconstitutioal but stupid as well. Discrimination,simply put.
    I wouldn't demonize these "lawful" businesses unless you want to draw more attention to them. Let it go and drag yourselves into the 21st century. By making it sinister and evil you can rest assured that kids will be attracted to it to find out what the big deal is. Especially if you make an obscure "red zone" in which they will have to operate.
    I am sure that there are "Vigilante Minded/Good Citizens" that will follow these people around and report back if there is anything shady going and I am extremely glad of that because I couldn't bring myself to do it.

  11. I think running it like a liquor store or bar is the best way to go. Allow police walk throughs, promote awareness, have them in established business areas, ensure standards are maintained.

    Any business can go shady. I think keeping high standards and having the business owners be responsible for their product and how they conduct the business.

  12. I would like to see one of their business tax returns to see what kind of sales are getting turned in

    The ones I know of are not legit and honest willy. Maybe you can point out one that is an actual business instead of a pusher gone to the safe side?

    The bad part of the business license fee is that all the other businesses in town will also have to pay it just because we want to know where these operations are. What will the city do if someone just doesnt tell them about their business?

  13. tis comment is directed at all the
    "POWERS" that are in "CHARGE" of rules & regulations & "LAWS"...
    Have you even READ the LAW on Medical Marijuana?...take a few minutes to READ it and you will discover that what the voters voted for was "Patients" to "Recieve" marijuana from thier "Caregivers" where nohow was there EVER any inclusion of growing and "SELLING"....not one word of "SALES" or "SELLING" usual people get all hyped-up and can't see straight!...the answer to your problem is simple and based on COMMON SENSE...MT State & Federal Statutes make "SELLING" it illegal
    The race to the Golden Apple by "PATIENTS" & "CAREGIVERS" is because they are assuming that it is now LEGAL to SELL it!!!!...AM I WRONG?

  14. to NEO:sorry but i don't get what you're getting at on your last post.I believe that as patient you are allowed up to 1oz.or 6 plants.How does a patient aquire these if their caregiver don't buy it.It won't just fall out of the sky.

  15. thats the catch-22...Even buying seeds is in violation of State & Federal law!...You can't just start ASSUMING what is the intentention of the is DEFINED...but still the reality exists that it is Illegal to SELL...not GROW( you just need to get the seeds) which is over-looked,,,but the Debate is where to put the Growers? it not?...if they could'nt SELL it...then seriously,, how many are going to GROW & GIVE! the FEVER to grow and SELL is what is here now!!
    But if the "PEOPLE" we elect to do thier jobs would just DO THEM! then this Stupid Debate would'nt even be here...

  16. To NEO;YOU should also realize that not just the caregivers are looking for the golden apple but the states,cities and elected officials also want a

  17. There is NOTHING to bite!...the law simply states that caregivers can grow a certain amount of plants...harvest and GIVE a certain amount to a patient!...the patient has the right to grow a certain amount for himself so they dont have to rely on a caregiver for thier medicine.< PERIOD!! It is still Illegal to SELL any part of the product!...everybody including the "OFFICIALS" are assuming that SALES is part of the LAW...IT ISNT!!...whats the PROBLEM?...Where do we allow them to grow when they have a long list of patients? RIGHT?...the DEA and the Drug Task force & the local cops still have the ability to ARREST for SALES!!

  18. to neo;before you start sending the POWERS TO BE on a wild goose chase maybe you should read the law again,it clearly uses the word selling.section 11."45-9-101"...(1)

  19. ....SO you are wrong about being arrested.

  20. Fed up appears to be correct but it takes a little digging to get to it.

    45-9-101 refers you to 50-32-101 which does appear to exempt caregivers fairly clearly. Specifically, 50-32-101 (23)(b).

  21. OK here we go!
    45-9-101. Criminal distribution of dangerous drugs. (1) Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 46, a person commits the offense of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs if the person sells, barters, exchanges, gives away, or offers to sell, barter, exchange, or give away any dangerous drug, as defined in 50-32-101.
    50-46-102. Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:
    (1) (a) "Caregiver" means an individual, 18 years of age or older who has agreed to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of a person with respect to the medical use of marijuana. A qualifying patient may have only one caregiver at any one time.
    (b) The term does not include the qualifying patient's physician.
    (2) "Debilitating medical condition" means:
    (a) cancer, glaucoma, or positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or the treatment of these conditions;
    (b) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
    (i) cachexia or wasting syndrome;
    (ii) severe or chronic pain;
    (iii) severe nausea;
    (iv) seizures, including but not limited to seizures caused by epilepsy; or
    (v) severe or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease; or
    (c) any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.
    (3) "Department" means the department of public health and human services.
    (4) "Marijuana" has the meaning provided in 50-32-101.
    (5) "Medical use" means:
    (a) the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia by a qualifying patient or a caregiver relating to the consumption of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects of a qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition;
    (b) the use of marijuana or paraphernalia by a qualifying patient to alleviate the symptoms or effects of the patient's debilitating medical condition; or
    (c) the use of paraphernalia by a caregiver for the cultivation, manufacture, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marijuana for use by a qualifying patient.
    (6) "Paraphernalia" has the meaning provided in 45-10-101.
    (7) "Physician" means a person who is licensed under Title 37, chapter 3.
    (8) "Qualifying patient" means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.
    (9) "Registry identification card" means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a qualifying patient or caregiver.
    (10) (a) "Usable marijuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of marijuana and any mixture or preparation of marijuana.
    (b) The term does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.
    (11) "Written certification" means a qualifying patient's medical records or a statement signed by a physician stating that in the physician's professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the qualifying patient has a debilitating medical condition and the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the qualifying patient.

    History: En. Sec. 2, I.M. No. 148, approved Nov. 2, 2004; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 156, L. 2009.

  22. it says "TRANSFER"...nothing in this LAW can be interpreted as refering to SALES or SELLING!!

  23. Section 11. Section 45-9-101, MCA, is amended to read:
    "45-9-101. Criminal distribution of dangerous drugs. (1) A...EXCEPT... as provided in [sections 1 through 9], a person commits the offense of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs if the person sells, barters, exchanges, gives away, or offers to sell, barter, exchange, or give away any dangerous drug, as defined in 50-32-101

  24. (2) Nothing in [sections 1 through 9] may be construed to require: (a) a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs ASSOCIATED with the medical use of marijuana.

  25. Well thanks for proving my point fed-up!! LOL...I could'nt have done it without you.....ROFLOL...keep up the good work!!

  26. Here we go NEO,I disproved your point.Medical marijuana providers and caregivers cannot be arrested for selling marijuana to patients.In accordance with sections [1 through 9 ]

  27. Your like a 1-legged man in an ass-kicking contest Fed-up...You are confused as to the wording and "INTERPRETATION" of this law!
    moving on...if the "Care-giver" still wants to GROW & GIVE MM,Then it needs to be zoned county because of the ODOR ISSUE first...
    A facility can only Build after getting ALL existing property owners within an 100 yard radius to sign the OK of it! 2nd require the building to be all steel construction for fire or Chemical fire...MUST HAVE: Current Electrical Inspection! Existing Steel building:Insp. within 5 years...Be prepared for Narco ops to insure your not SELLING it...SIMPLE Regulations to comply with... Now I would love to see some FEED-BACK from these Mysterious "Officials" that read this blog...kinda "QUIET" in

  28. ....Wait a minute....FED-UP?....are U one of those "OFFICIALS" ??
    if so i can see why U have a Dilema

  29. Just a little tid-bit to chew on...
    Medical Marijuana Store Shut Down, Owners Arrested

    SPOKANE, Wash.

    Police said it was the first time in the state that medical marijuana distributors had been arrested on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance.

    Spokane police on Thursday raided a medical marijuana store, shutting it down, arresting the owners and warning similar operations to close, too.

    Police said it was the first time in the state that medical marijuana distributors had been arrested on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance.

    Law officers searched a store called Change, along with four private residences. Change opened earlier this year. Arrested were co-owners Scott Q. Shupe, 54, and Christopher P. Stevens, 36.

    Police said the business was selling marijuana to more than 1,000 customers. The dispensary was closed, and police warned other medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane to close their businesses as well.

    Shupe was also arrested several weeks ago in Oregon while driving to Washington with four pounds of marijuana.

    State law allows caretakers to purchase marijuana for medical marijuana cardholders, but Spokane police contend it remains illegal for anyone to provide it to more than one patient at a time.

    Washington voters passed Initiative 692 -- the Medical Use of Marijuana Act -- in 1998. The Legislature in 2007 asked the Department of Health to define a legal supply of marijuana. The agency determined that an authorized person could possess a 60-day supply, or 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana or 15 plants. Qualifying patients have to grow their own, as marijuana is not legal to buy or sell, the agency said.

    Regardless of state laws, marijuana is outlawed by the federal government, which does not accept that marijuana has medical benefits.

  30. one more...among the many...
    LOS ANGELES — The former owner of six Los Angeles-area medical marijuana dispensaries, including one store linked to an accident that killed a motorist and paralyzed an officer, was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison for selling pot for profit.

    U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson said he didn't believe Virgil Grant III's claim that his dispensaries weren't for profit. Grant used the clinics to shield for-profit marijuana sales, the judge said.

    California's medical marijuana law prohibits the cultivation and sale of marijuana for profit. Marijuana use is illegal under federal law, which doesn't recognize the medical marijuana laws in California and other states.

    Grant, 42, was arrested in May 2008 on a host of federal charges, including operating three dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools and money laundering. The Carson resident pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana

    Grant's business dealings became known when a customer of his Compton store, Jeremy White, drove his truck into a car stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer on the shoulder of Highway 101 in Ventura County in December 2007.

    The driver of the parked car was killed. The officer, Anthony Pedeferri, was critically injured.

    White acknowledged driving under the influence of marijuana, and investigators found marijuana and edible marijuana products in his car from The Holistic Caregivers in Compton, one of Grant's dispensaries. White pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

    After a number of undercover buys at several of Grant's dispensaries, including a $5,700, 1-pound transaction with one of Grant's employees, Grant was indicted and arrested.

    Grant was arrested again in December when he tried to open two of his pot dispensaries in violation of his bond, which mandated that he stay away from marijuana clinics.

  31. Here we go again,more lies and half truths from the NEO.No exact dates or anything,do me a favor and Quit tossing in your own distorted interpetation of everything and at least admit when you are wrong.I don't know why im even arguing with a nut like you.P.S.Happy Easter

  32. LOL...Like I said... " Your a 1 legged man in this ass kicking contest" When the "Officials" finally get around to Reading the MM law & it dawns on them that they have been allowing all these
    criminal sales because of thier mis-interpretation of and see the "EXCUSES" as to WHY & WHO is resonsible for the Screwups...

  33. They need to get Dan Boucher to Read it and give them the Actual intent & Greater sense of the entire MM law!...the city & county Attorneys are not smart enough & dont feel the need to inform them-selves...apparently no one has asked AG Bullock to clarify it either....NO ONE in CHARGE OF THESE MATTERS ARE DOING THIER ACTUAL JOB....I SAY FIRE EM ALL!!

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  35. How about caregivers serving more than one patient being allowed to grow in commercial and industrial zones, with a business license that will be required by all businesses in the COUNTY. This includes ag operations and the like. Anyone selling a controlled substance is open to being inspected. The proceeds from the business licensing pays for a dispensary, to be located in the courthouse or city hall. The caregiver delivers the goods to his patient at the dispensary, and is overseen by the dispensary attendant and recorded. A nominal fee is paid to the dispensary for every transaction. ANY caregiver or patient, or anyone else for that matter caught selling product outside of the guidelines is open to full prosecution, has all licensing and ability to reapply revoked. The grow operations have been in this community for three or four years, and have operated quietly until recently. This community's Not In My Back Yard approach DOES NOT WORK!!!! Do you think that the patients will quit buying if the Havre/ Hill County caregivers are shut down?? WAKE UP!! Do you think that Montana Caregivers from other towns won't deliver pounds of product into Havre?? Are they going to spend any of that money here?? Are they going to pay for school levies to keep former administrators paid?? Are they going to pay city or county taxes?? HELL NO!! Limit how the caregivers can grow, and where they can. Grandfather existing growers and make safe guidelines for future growers that they must meet. Limit where they can sell, and tax the snot out of the industry.

    But, then again, the very government being asked to regulate the grow operations have at least two caregivers working for it... Gonja Gardens anyone??!/profile.php?v=photos&id=100000698078044

  36. NeoCon said:"They need to get Dan Boucher to Read it and give them the Actual intent & Greater sense of the entire MM law!"

    Why in the world would you go to an attorney for an interpretation? The proper avenue to pursue is to ask for a ruling from the attorney general.

    Next, what is your purpose of news stories from other states? Simple obfuscation or are you just that simple?

  37. Because I think Dan is the "Smartest Tool" in the Shed here in Mayberry & can interpret the Law with the same Common Sense that I have...
    If you dont know about Comparison Reading then you "Surely" are the Gomer I think you are...nuff shut up and sit down!...roflol...

  38. Boucher is a very smart guy. Still not the guy to go to. That would be the AG.

    Gomer indeed, what an ignorant tool you are. LOL

  39. in which I mentioned confering with in an earlier post....but since the "Officials" here are to stupid to go that high then just for Mayberry's sake they need an opinion to follow NOW!!...I would ask Dan to look at it and give me an OPINION! it GROW & GIVE or GROW & SELL!!

  40. Ask away. Just realize that Dan's opinion carries no weight legally (in fact, short of the AG, the person to query is the County Attorney).

  41. To SURELY The reason NEO-GOOBER don't go to the probably because they have a restraining order on the nut.

  42. are you two the "Officials" that the Corrector refered to as needed suggestions? seem like it!
    and since there has been no input from these "Mysterious" "officials"
    I am going to conclude that the Corrector just MADE it up to elicit responses and have no such
    "Connections" that read this blog
    in order to gain community opinion!
    or better yet throw out a few of thier own!! and let US know what some of the obstacles are!...WHAT SAY YE CORRECTOR?

  43. Neo said: "are you two the "Officials" that the Corrector refered to as needed suggestions? seem like it!"

    1) No, I am not one of those "officials".

    2) I seem like it? Because I call you on your inane stupidity? LOL

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