Whitefish, Montana, to Get Eight New Marijuana Dispensaries

Industry News - Whitefish, Montana, to Get Eight New Marijuana Dispensaries

After Montana legalized recreational marijuana sales in 2021, Whitefish is set to get eight new marijuana dispensaries.

This is no surprise, given that cannabis businesses in the Big Sky Country have already earned $72.9 million on marijuana sales during the first four months of 2022.

However, Whitefish established strict zoning rules for the operation of marijuana dispensaries.

For example, dispensaries cannot be located between Railway and East Second Streets on Spokane Avenue.

Furthermore, dispensaries must be at least 150 feet apart in downtown areas and at least 500 feet apart in secondary business districts.

The second restriction is that cannabis dispensaries must be at least 500 feet away from and not in the same street as schools, synagogues, or churches.

Although the state’s rules are simple, the approval procedure has left many dispensary owners in the dark about if and when their businesses will be permitted to open.

For example, Elliot Lindsey faced numerous challenges in getting a new dispensary licensed by the Department of Revenue’s Cannabis Control Division. The owner of Grizzly Pine claims that the state is “overflowing with renewals” and that approvals that would have taken two weeks are taking months to complete.

The state of Montana has a strict permitting system. I.e., all locations must be inspected and authorized before they can be open to the public.

Furthermore, all applicants must have a building inspection report, evidence of Montana residency with a minimum of 5% financial interest, city and county approval, and a business organization chart.

The overflow of applications for opening new dispensaries has raised concerns among the already-established businesses, who fear that the cannabis market might become oversaturated.