MISSOULA — City planners will begin writing an ordinance governing the sale of recreational marijuana in Missoula and where such businesses can locate, hoping to have an ordinance in place by Jan. 1, when the sale of pot becomes legal.
Missoula County voters last year overwhelmingly passed a statewide ballot measure that gave individual counties the option of accepting the sale and use of recreational marijuana. With the sale date rapidly approaching, the city plans to adopt rules guiding the new industry in accordance with state law.
“Our team has been looking into our own regulations in regard to how we’ve done things in the past with medical marijuana businesses, and looking at how other places have responded to this kind of legislation,” said city planner Ben Brewer.
According to city officials, more than 70 marijuana-related businesses currently operate in the Missoula metropolitan area. Of those, around 50 serve as medical marijuana dispensaries while 20 operate as cultivators or fill other industry needs.
Under state law, existing medical marijuana businesses that had a license prior to November 2020 can begin selling recreational marijuana on Jan. 1. Other business licenses will be available to the general public for recreational sales on July 1.