People wishing to sell medical marijuana from vehicles or temporary locations will not be allowed to do so if the second reading of an ordinance banning their business is passed May 3. Havre City Council members voted unanimously in favor of the first of two readings of the ordinance that bans itinerant vendors from selling the drug, but does not ban other itinerant vendors. Many in the audience spoke against medical marijuana in general, leading to loud murmuring and at times the necessity for Mayor Tim Solomon to regain control of the meeting. But "it's just one narrow focus on the itinerant vendors," council President Allen "Woody" Woodwick emphasized. The Planning and Development Committee today at 5:15 p.m. in City Hall will discuss zoning issues within the city, with zoning for medical marijuana grow operations and dispensaries as a part of the overall picture. An ordinance seeking to place a moratorium on medical marijuana businesses in the city has been stalled due to timing issues. In order to pass an emergency ordinance, a public hearing on the ordinance will be held May 3 at 7 p.m. before the regularly scheduled council meeting. Full council is set to vote on the ordinance later that night, and because of the the emergency stature of it, only one reading is necessary for it to take effect. Diana Greytak, who owns a local daycare facility, asked if medical marijuana businesses could be held accountable for infractions to state law like her business is "so that people can then protect themselves." She is subject to visits and inspections at any time, she said, and if anything is found wrong, it is placed o n a we b s i t e where anyone can view it. J a n e t Trethewey, chair of the Planning and Development Committee, said that questions like Greytak's have not been answered, yet. "Part of it is because we can't supersede state law, and state law is pretty fuzzy. And so we're having to kind of really be careful how we move through that," she said. Council member Gerry Veis, who said he voted in favor of the 2004 initiative legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, suggested that the number of caregivers in Havre should be limited to between 15 and 20. "Make sure that they're registered and you charge them a fee for that license ... it should be a large amount of money when you do it, because if You can make that kind of money you should be paying some kind of fees," he said. People can say what they want and what they don't want, but laws must be followed, he said. "The main thing we've got to do as a council, instead of stop it, is make sure we work together to get it to where it conforms to society, that it's functional, and we do the right things for both sides." Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, encouraged residents to share their concerns with the interim committee on children, health and human services. The committee is meeting in Helena Monday and Tuesday and will be discussing medical marijuana Tuesday, she said. People can attend in person, or comments can be e-mailed to email@example.com. • Kathy Woeppel shared her concern that a high fence has been taken down at Optimist Park. "And it is really dangerous for little kids not to have the fence there," she said. "We're waiting for an accident, and a tragic accident, to happen," she told council members. The fence being taken down is part of a beautification project, Mayor Tim Solomon said after the meeting. • Council declared Monday Arbor Day in recognition of the importance of trees. • Council declared Thursday as Earth Day in recognition of the need to preserve Havre's ecosystems. • The Ordinance Committee will meet Thursday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.
Limits approved for med marijuana sales
Published: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
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