City council again delays vote on medical marijuana in Billings, votes no on pigs as pets

City council again delays vote on medical marijuana in Billings, votes no on pigs as pets

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(MTN News Photo) BILLINGS – Billings city council members once again delayed, in a second and final reading, the issue of medical marijuana within city limits. The new ordinance aimed to update language to include the passage of Senate Bill 233 allowing medical marijuana within the state. However the city of Billings would not allow land permit usage, or the issuing of business licenses, for anything that violated federal law, which includes medical marijuana. Several spoke against the ordinance, saying the decision makes it difficult for them to receive their medicine. Of the 18 who testified against the council’s decision, only one spoke in favor. With the dispensaries possibly moving out to rural areas of Yellowstone County, the city would not allow the transport or delivery of medical marijuana. Councilman Rich McFadden amended the motion to provide a "grandfather clause" to two existing dispensaries already operating within city limits, although the businesses operating now are currently violating city code. A Billings city attorney suggested the amendment be looked at fully before passage because it significantly changes the ordinance language. The council voted 6-5 to delay and reconsider the issue, and city staff will look into allowing current operating dispensaries to continue business. Mayor Tom Hanel spoke against the motion, saying that changes need to occur from the "federal government down." "We are not in position as a city council to make those types of changes," Hanel said. Council members Brent Cromley, Angela Cimmino, McFadden, Ryan Sullivan, Dick Clark and Shaun Brown voted in favor. Council members Mike Yakawich, Larry Brewster, Chris Friedel, Al Swanson, and Hanel voted no. The issue will be brought up in a work session Oct. 16 for action on Nov. 13. Snow-plowing residential streets The city of Billings received record snow in the past few […]

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