Medical pot shop opens Friday

By: 
Mikaela Koski
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Rosebud Remedies, a medical marijuana dispensary, will be opening up shop in Columbus this Friday, and emotions are running high in the community both for and against the new storefront.

Almost 30 people attended Monday’s Columbus City Council meeting to voice either concern or support for the new storefront. The group was split down the middle, with about the same number of opponents as proponents.

ROSEBUD REMEDIES

Thomas Carroll, the owner of Rosebud Remedies, said the lease for the building that formerly housed Stageline Pizza has been signed, and the storefront is set to open on Friday, Oct. 5.

Carroll is a licensed medical marijuana provider who is currently providing his services in Absarokee, and he mentioned that while the community initially resisted it, his business has become more accepted.

Carroll explained that the packaging for items in the dispensary is opaque and childproof, and none of his products look like candy. While the law may permit consumption on site, Carroll noted that he would not allow his patients to use any products at the dispensary.

All of the products are weighed several times, he said, and are also monitored with barcodes from seed to sale. There are inspections, and law enforcement has the ability to enter at any time, according to Carroll.

He described the storefront as a safe place for patients to get their medical marijuana, and he characterized it as a “not if, but when” situation regarding medical marijuana storefronts opening in Columbus. Carroll said the dispensary will bring money into the community, as well.

OPPONENTS

Kathy Hollar, a concerned citizen and member of both the Granite Peak Playground group and the Library Steering Committee, voiced her concern about the location of the new dispensary. It will be located next to Subway and behind the Granite Peak Park sports complex.

She noted that the location of a proposed new community center would be right down the road from Rosebud Remedies, and a large number of high schoolers go to Subway for lunch.

While she said she is not completely against the medical marijuana industry, she urged the council to be proactive and take measures to look at what other cities have done to place limits on storefronts.

Manda Browning, a concerned parent of children who attend sports activities at Granite Peak Park, said that she is worried about the possibility of consumption on site, which is now allowed by the law.

She described kids walking past the building to use the ballparks and being affected by the sights and smells of marijuana use. Drugs that the young people are taught to “say no” to in school would potentially be in use for medical purposes at the site, and Browning was worried about the conflicting message that would send to the kids.

Susan Ivankovich, a physician assistant at Stillwater Billings Clinic, spoke against the dispensary on behalf of the three doctors and two physician assistants at Stillwater Billings Clinic in Columbus. She said that due to the fact that no medical staff at the local hospital prescribes medical marijuana cards, they see no need for the storefront.

PROPONENTS

Two of Carroll’s current patients spoke about the benefits medical marijuana has had for them.

One has multiple sclerosis, and the other lost a limb in an accident. For both, medical marijuana has been a viable alternative for pain relief rather than opioids.

A third patient voiced his support, saying that he wished more people would ask questions to Carroll about medical marijuana because it is a good project.

ORDINANCE PROCESS

There are currently no city ordinances in place in Columbus limiting or prohibiting medical marijuana storefronts in the city.

If the aldermen were to take action to address medical marijuana in the city through an ordinance, there is a process that the council would use. After drafting the proposed ordinance, it would have to pass the first reading to be considered for adoption.

After passing the first reading, the city would have to provide notice of the public hearing for a couple weeks before the public hearing was held. Following the public hearing, a decision regarding the adoption of the ordinance would occur.

The council requested City Attorney Doug Howard compile the state medical marijuana laws and some examples of how other cities have approached the topic for the aldermen to review.

STILLWATER STATS

According to the July 2018 registry information, the most recent information available from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, there are three medical marijuana providers in Stillwater County – one in Columbus, one in Absarokee, and one in Reed Point.

In Stillwater County, there are 167 medical marijuana cardholders.

 

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