Montana Medical Growers Association Meets in Bozeman Monday, Tuesday

by jhwygirl

The Montana Medical Grower’s Association, in conjunction with Montana Botanical Analysis is presenting a series of lectures January 11 and 12th which will feature noted medical marijuana scientist Dr. Arno Hazekamp from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Beginning at noon on Monday, the Montana Medical Grower’s Association will offer presentations of various topics of interest to medicinal cannabis patients, caregivers, and the general public including small business practices, tax issues, and legal updates. Additionally, there will be an exhibition area for vendors of products and services supporting the medical cannabis industry.

Monday evening, Dr. Hazekamp, a a world renowned expert in cannabinoid chemistry and analysis who has published widely on the subject of marijuana chemistry, will be giving a public lecture on the most recent research developments regarding medicinal cannabis and the treatment of specific medical conditions beginning at 6 pm at The Emerson Theatre, 111 South Grand Avenue, Bozeman. There will be a public question and answer session as well as a reception following the lecture.

On Tuesday, January 12th, Montana Botanical Analysis will sponsor a guest lecture featuring Dr. Hazekamp in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department of Montana State University. Dr. Hazekamp will be speaking on the “Chemistry of Cannabinoids” in Byker Hall at 2 pm.

For further information, please contact the Montana Medical Grower’s Association at (800) 518-9113.

Medical marijuana hasn’t been getting a whole lot of respect around Montana lately, it seems. Odd, considering it was legalized in the 2004 legislature. The Missoula Independent’s Matthew Frank recently did a story regarding the controversy surrounding a medical marijuana providers shop here in Missoula.

In the last few months, I’ve read stories in the Billings Gazette, Helena’s Independent Record, the Missoulian and the Flathead Beacon (off the top of my head) regarding medical marijuana. This IR story went into great detail how the Montana Cannibus nursery business is operating.

Zoning – or where these businesses go – is apparently a big issue. Whitefish recently enacted emergency zoning banning medical marijuana stores in response to a in increase in dispensaries – one which was proposed near local middle school.

I’m sorry – that provider appears to have been lacking some common sense.

All of that being said, it seems to me that Whitefish and the other cities “wrestling” with the issue of medical marijuana stores are overthinking the issue. Montana regulates the stuff as medical….so where do we allow pharmacies? What regs do we impose on pharmacies? I don’t see a medical marijuana storefront any much different than a pharmacy.

Frankly, it seems to me that by banning medical marijuana stores, Whitefish is circumventing the will of the legislature which legalized medical marijuana and made provisions for providers to operate….but hey, I’m no lawyer, right?

At the state level, there’s also some talk of regulating them as nurseries under the Department of Agriculture. That makes sense. It’s a cash crop. Determining its true economic impact starts there.

This past session there was a foolhardy (IMHO) rush to write laws related to carbon sequestration – and while I won’t lecture on why I felt that was inappropriate, I can’t help but wonder why Montana wouldn’t get ahead of the curve on what is clearly a trend towards legalization. The feds appear to be working on true legalization of marijuana.

Hell – it might be the only thing that’ll help California’s economy recovery. California has approved a ballot initiative for 2010.

What is they say? As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation?

  1. Anon

    Wow – this is a major problem with about 1/2 of 1% of the population registered as medical marijuana patients. I wonder what percentage use it illegally on a regular basis?

    Agree on the rush for legislation on carbon sequestration.

  2. goof houlihan

    I don’t agree that zoning a particular type of business contravenes state law or the will of the legislature. Bozeman zoning laws only allow casinos in certain zoning districts (except those grandfathered in).

    It’s really no different than having “B” zones or “R” zones. Some areas are zoned residential, some zoned commercial, some industrial, some pot hangouts, some gambling.

    We also have rules limiting where alcohol can be served relative to schools and churches.

    • Of course zoning doesn’t contravene state law….and maybe I wasn’t clear…but why did Whitefish have to place a moratorium on medical marijuana shops? Aren’t they overthinking it? Wouldn’t you just look at what they are and fit them into whatever you have, whatever you think it best to put them? C for commercial (i.e, pharmacy) or NC for neighborhood commercial (as in nursery)?

      By placing a moratorium on something lawfully allowed, well – that’s circumventing.

      Whitefish isn’t the only one that’s gotten all whipped up about these – Billings (although I couldn’t find that article), and Missoula is considering something. Helena, too, I believe. I mean – these are all zoned places. Why act like it’s a nuclear bomb store that needs a special emergency zoning action?

  3. klemz

    Would a pharmacist setting up shop near a middle school be lacking common sense? There are safeguards and you know the cops are watching. Or do you mean political common sense?

    • JC

      Well, here in Missoula, with the proliferation of pharmacy break-ins by oxy addicts, location of pharmacies is a concern. In some aspects, they’ve got a few of the same issues as a shooting gallery or junk-house has.

      I read somewhere in the Missoulian that zoning of dispensaries and grow operations has many of the same issues as pharmacies, in that they will be the target of burglaries. So I get the sense that to the degree that a business will be targeted by burglaries and holdups, that they need to be regulated as to the neighborhood they are in–proximity to schools, i.e.

    • I meant that anyone in that type of business should of had the common sense to not try and set up shop across the street from the local middle school.

      I think that a medical marijuana shop is the same thing as a pharmacy – and a whole huge moratorium and the rest of the hullabo that’s occurred in cities across the state is nonsense. Zoning officers make reasonable interpretations every day – and cities are over thinking these things.

      They should look at the laws that they have and fit it in, if reasonable, rather than make it some huge blown-up issue.

  4. I think mainly I’m convinced of two things, Anon – it really does help some people where other things won’t and the government – any government – spends way too much cash enforcing something that is basically made harmful by the laws that criminalize it.

    We got better things to be chasing then marijuana issues.

  5. problembear

    those who profit by keeping us from agreeing with each other get mighty nervous when folks from the right and the left begin to find common ground…..

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