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Billings moving closer to finalizing marijuana laws

What happens next in effort to decriminalize marijuana?
Posted at 10:09 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 12:19:49-04

BILLINGS — The Billings City Council inched closer to finalizing its marijuana business laws on Monday after making changes to aspects of zoning and capping the total number of dispensaries, according to a statement from Councilmember Kendra Shaw, who represents Ward 1.

The Council voted to keep marijuana dispensaries in heavy and light industrial, and heavy commercial zone districts. Within those zones, the dispensaries would have to be located 1,000 feet away from parks with playgrounds, churches and schools. The dispensaries must be located 150 feet from an arterial roadway.

View the map below to see spaces in Billings dispensaries may be allowed to operate.

102621 BILLINGS PINK ZONING MAP 1000 FT.PNG
Pink areas on the map show where marijuana dispensaries could open up in Billings under proposed regulations.

Watch the video placed at the top of this story for a ground level view of a selection of permitted dispensary areas.

The Council also voted to cap the total number of marijuana dispensary business licences allowed in the city to four recreational and four medical. The city has identified 23 marijuana dispensaries in the county with easy access for customers from Billings. At the start of next year, those dispensaries will be allowed to sell recreational marijuana to adults over the age of 21, if they are in good standing with the state and local government.

The Council voted to cap the amount of cultivation space that a marijuana business can have to 7,500 square feet.

There's still time for the Council to make changes to the marijuana regulations. The new laws will have a second reading at a yet-to-be-determined Council meeting.