Missoula to consider temporary ban on new dispensaries – Missoulian

A new proposal by a Missoula city councilor would temporarily halt business licenses for new marijuana dispensaries within city limits and add more fines around selling to underage residents, citing a high number of storefronts that some argue add to youth cannabis abuse. 

Ward 3 Councilor Gwen Jones will propose three different resolutions to the Public Safety Health and Operations Committee on Wednesday.

One policy would enact a 180-day ban on new dispensary licenses. The second would set a public hearing next month to consider to halting licenses for new dispensaries for two years. The third policy would add additional fines for giving or selling marijuana to a minor.

Jones told the Missoulian that the new polices are in response to the large amount of dispensaries currently operating within the city, which in turn increases access to marijuana. 

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The Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior survey reported youth cannabis use in Missoula County increased from 20% in 2019 to 24.5% in 2021.

“It’s been 2 1/2 years since legalization, and now we have the data that shows an inordinate impact for those under 21,” Jones said on Monday.

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