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Billings marijuana dispensary temporarily blocks city from imple - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Billings marijuana dispensary temporarily blocks city from implementing new ban

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BILLINGS - The owners of a Billings dispensary filed a temporary restraining order against the city Friday to prevent the officials from enforcing its new ordinance banning medical marijuana within city limits.

Richard Abromeit, co-owner of Montana Advanced Caregivers, along with patient Nancy Moore, filed the order Friday in Yellowstone County District Court.

The temporary order was signed by Judge Gregory Todd and prevents the city from enacting the ordinance passed earlier in August until a future court hearing.

"The injury to Nancy Moore would be to her health," according to the complaint. "The injury to plaintiffs Abromeit and Montana Advanced Caregivers Inc. would be in violation of their constitutional right to equal protection and substantive due process by reason of interference or destruction of their long established business."

City Council members approved the new ordinance at its meeting on Aug. 29.

The ordinance prohibits the sale of medical marijuana within the Billings city limits, despite a statewide voter-approved initiative that expanded the sale of medical marijuana in the state.

Montana Advanced Caregivers has operated within Billings for nearly a decade and at the same location - 1101 Maggie Lane near the Billings Police barn -- for the last five years.

City officials say the annual business licenses the dispensary received are now void due to its sale of medical marijuana, which is still considered against federal law, regardless of state laws.

"Cities can make it easy on the patients of Montana or difficult. Billings has chosen the latter," Abromeit said in a statement.

No hearing on the case has been scheduled.

RELATED: Billings City Council ceases medical marijuana operations in city limits

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