Thursday, June 17, 2010

Havre Business License Closer to Reality

It now appears that our city leaders will be requiring all businesses in the Havre area to register for a business license. This license will be required of everyone doing business within the city, even if located out of city limits, as well as everyone with a 59501 zip code. Once the ordinance is brought before the full council and approved, businesses will have 60 days to register. Failure to comply will result in fines and the business will face forced closure until in compliance. Anyone doing business in the city will be required to buy a license even if from out of the area. It appears that this would include Dick Anderson Construction and all of his out of town people working at the Highland Park School, people that do contracting, auto body, and mechanic work out of their residential garages after they get off from their regular nine to five jobs and even the Avon Lady.
Now just how will the city enforce this new requirement? The Planning and Development committee, chaired by Janet Trethewey, earlier required that all medical marijuana growers and dispensaries register with the city “within 10 days” or close up shop. As far as we can determine less than a half-dozen did so. What has the committee or the city done with the others that didn’t comply? Did they in fact close up shop? You already guessed it. They have done absolutely NOTHING to enforce this. Now here they come again with more requirements for legitimate businesses under the guise of “promoting orderly growth. In reality, probably no local business person will object to this requirement as there is, as of yet, no fee involved with this license. It would appear that the city council is doing allot of circling here trying to get a handle on the medical marijuana people.

Trethewey was quoted in the HDN as saying "We just need to know who's doing what where" What do you “need” to know? Who the Avon Ladies are? Will the firemen and teachers that moonlight in small after work enterprises also be identified? Or is this all driven by their quest to know where the pot-heads congregate? Isn’t that what the medical marijuana licensing was supposed to do?

One interesting aspect of these proposed business licenses is that they will be required to follow state and
Federal laws in order to keep their license. Do the marijuana people follow the federal law? The whiz chairman Trethewey had an answer for that also. She said that because President Barack Obama’s Administration will not prosecute medical marijuana users this ordinance will not stop Havre medical marijuana businesses from operating in Havre. I didn’t realize that chairman Trethewey was so well versed in federal law, and here I thought she was just a PE teacher at the college that recently made a name for herself turning our local University officials into the ACLU for making her endure a prayer at graduation.

The scary part is that her husband Jack is attempting to win a seat in the Montana House of Representatives. We are now of the opinion that one Trethewey in government is more than enough and we will be looking to Trethewey’s opponent Kristen Hansen to offer some alternatives come November.

Related story in tonight’s HDN here.


  1. If you guys wanted Hansen over Tretheway so bad you should of had her run as a Democrat so you could have used your crossover votes like you did with Brown over Dickson. That's the only way she won. Might have worked with Jack too. Barely worked with Catt.

  2. It is the same old story: “We need money so we will dream up little regulations; just for safety at first then the cost on maintaining it then the big one”. Then Trethaway said “We need to know what these people are doing”. She is taking the play book that Oboma is reading. Total control and make sure the business’s pay the bill. She is concerned about the 56% that voted for medical marijuana and the majority rules but now 99.9% of the people wanted the prayer at the graduation and that almost total majority doesn’t seem to count. I’ll just bet her husband has the same line of thinking.

  3. 99.9% wanted the prayer? Yep,you guys are a kick.

  4. free my ass... with a required city licence, it just opens the door for the city council to impose fees or taxes on compliant business anytime they think they need more money. This is all being done for the wrong reasons. Theres a chamber of comerce here that business can join if they want, but maybe not every business wants too. I just feel like this is happeing because a dozen people or so, law abiding i might add, grow legal weed and the council just needs to know exactly where they are. If the council dosent smoke weed for their medical ailments, then they dont need to know where the caregiver is. Im not going to register. And yes, i could possibly be a kick, but id rather be a kick than a dick.

  5. I love your last sentence, axslinger. You nailed Bill right where it hurts.

  6. I do not see how the city council can require any one in the 59501 zip to license they have no control over what the county does. Just another overstep by people who do not know their limits. If I am seeing this corectly then all farms and cattlemen and ranchers would also have to license. This quick fix needs to be refined.

  7. Every business owner I have spoken to oppose this. Many of them pay for other licenses like liquor licenses and such. To pay for a pointless license that is just an attempt to drive out the medical marijuana caregivers seems like a waste of money.

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  9. As a local businessman myself I must admit at first I was very suspicious of this action being taken and did not support this idea when it came up years ago either. However I have also had occasion to require the City to assist me when another business attempted to locate near mine that was in clear violation of the our current zoning laws, so I understand the need for proper zoning and know of numerous examples where the zoning is out of compliance.

    The marijunana issue should not be the excuse though, so I do agree with many comments on this blog that the City's intended use of the medical marijuana issue as a reason to establish a business license is highly unethical in my mind and should not be used as an endrun around State law. Now don't confuse me as a proponent of medical marijuana; however, as I am not. Again as a business owner with dozens of regulations placed upon me by the various government jurisdictions it is a wonder why I still am in business, so I feel the medical marijuana businesses should have to follow some of the same regulations I follow and completely disagree with the privacy restrictions. You want to operate in Havre? Then hang a sign and join the legitimate economy.

    Now back to the business license. First I made a call to one of the Committee members and he informed me that nothing the paper reported was actually approved yet by the Committee it was simply discussed and asked to be drafted for their next meeting.

    I also asked about the zip code issue and this member said there was some discussion of a zip code because that is how Libby's ordinance worked. I guess they are using Libby's ordinance as a model. However he did not say that was definitely how they were going to do it necessarily.

    Finally the fee issue seems to be unanimous among the committee members that there will be no fee at least for the first year, but that may not be the way the entire Council feels.

    So here's the way I look at this issue. As long as there is no fee involved and the process and the questions asked are straightforward and reasonable I have no problem complying with this license nor do I feel the businesspeople I have discussed this with do either. But if they start charging for it or it becomes cumbersome and unnecessary as most of these things can then I will be opposed.

    So I am going to wait and see how this debate goes before condemning it because I do feel we need sensible zoning regulations and I want the legitimate business community to operate in the light of the day.

  10. I have already registered as a caregiver with the city. Gave my little piece of paper to some lady at the city with personal and private information on it. This was not a councle person. This was noone of authority. Where did that paper go? Who seen it before it got there? I am spose to be protected by state law, and i should not have to be subject to giving information. Now they want me to register as a business? Kiss my ass! I will NOT! Nor will I give any more information that is asked of me. If thats a problem, I dont care. Sick of jumping through hoops just to have my rights takin and laws broken.

  11. Shawn - Which rights are being taken and which laws are being broken? I suspect you don't understand the issues based upon your comments.

  12. (8) The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom the department has issued registry identification cards. Individual names and
    other identifying information on the list must be confidential and are not subject to disclosure, except to:
    (a) authorized employees of the department as necessary to perform official duties of the department; or
    (b) authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies, only as necessary to verify that a person is a lawful possessor of a registry identification card.

    The people that took my information were not authorized by dpphs. SurelyYoujestdontunderstand.

  13. Again, Which RIGHTS are you losing and which laws have been broken shawn? Specific facts please, not what you "think" might be happening.

    Are you also aware of the difference between a card holder and a caregiver?

    Lastly, if you gave your info to someone and you don't even know who that would make you the dolt. LOL