Some businesses surprised over decision to allow a dispensary to open in downtown Belgrade – NBC Montana

BELGRADE, Mont. — On Tuesday night, Belgrade’s City Council approved the petition of local medical and recreational marijuana dispensary Mountain High to open their doors downtown at 23 West Main Street.

The zone text amendment allowed for an exception to the rule prohibiting marijuana businesses from opening within 500 feet of public/quasi-public buildings, residential areas and parks.

The motion passed 3-2 after lengthy public comment on both sides of the issue. But the decision came with an unexpected twist – council members added additional language to the zone text amendment prohibiting another marijuana business from opening within 500 feet of another.

This came after multiple residents expressed concerns that Main Street could become lined with dispensaries. The city of Belgrade’s Director of Community Development, Jason Karp, says he thinks the addition of this language was key to the motion passing.

“I think that was what ended up putting it over the top to get it approved,” said Karp. “Because the impact from just one business, I think they felt, would be fairly minimal.”

Just one business because the zone text amendment strictly applies to downtown, not to Belgrade as a whole. Due to the layout of the downtown area, there’s only room for one dispensary

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