BILLINGS — Recreational marijuana dispensaries might be coming inside the city limits if voters approve in the upcoming Nov. 2 election, but that still leaves the question of where they can operate in the city.
Proposed zoning law calls for marijuana dispensaries to be separated 600 feet from religious facilities, schools and parks with playgrounds and 350 feet from residential neighborhoods.
The dispensaries would be limited to heavy commercial and light industrial zone districts.
City staff released a map showing the approximate locations where dispensaries would be able to operate, which is shown below:
City of Billings The area in green marks zoning districts where marijuana dispensaries could be located under proposed city zoning law.
The Council will see a first reading on marijuana business regulations at its meeting next week on Oct. 25. Click here to find the Council agenda and links to the complete documents.
The Billings City Council has a goal to get marijuana business regulations signed by Dec. 1, to have the regulations take effect by the start of next year, when medical dispensaries in good standing with the local and state laws can start selling to adults over 21.
The current proposed dispensary separation distances have been lowered compared to previous boundaries, increasing the space within the city where they could open.
There’s concern from some in the marijuana industry that there’s not enough space that’s realistic to purchase within the proposed zoning districts.
Tina Walker-Smith owns Canna of Eden in Billings. She sells CBD products and educates marijuana business people about the law and offers training for dispensary employees. She was also a caregiver in Billngs from 2016 to 2017.
“When you pick very few zones in more industrial areas. That’s what you’re going to get. Either it’s not available or it’s not an