Medical marijuana dispensary clears one hurdle – Laurel Outlook (subscription)


By: 

KATHLEEN GILLULY

Outlook managing editor

Richard Abromeit, co-owner of Montana Advanced Caregivers testifies before the planning board last week. The business is seeking a variance to open up a dispensary on S. Washington Ave. in Laurel. The board voted for the variance 5-2.

Members of the advisory Laurel-Yellowstone City-County Planning Board approved a variance last Thursday to allow the operation of medical marijuana dispensary at 204 S. Washington Ave., Unit A1, which is zoned Highway Commercial. The vote was 5-2, with Lee “Doc” Richardson and Gary Colley casting no votes. Richardson said that marijuana was a legitimate medicine but he was concerned about what might follow. Colley, formerly a code enforcement officer/building inspector in Laurel said the building proposed for the dispensary had been designed for storage only and doesn’t have adequate parking. Prior to approval, another public hearing will be conducted before the city council.
Co-owner of Montana Advanced Caregivers Richard Abromeit told the board that the business is currently the second largest dispensary in the state and that the goal is to “provide safe access.” Montana Advanced Caregivers has a grow operation and dispensary on Maggie Ln., in Billings, near the city of Billings Operation Center on Midland Road. According to Abromeit, security is a top priority for the business.
“We are in complete compliance with state laws,” he said. “We have the fire marshall in yearly.” Additionally, he noted that the business welcomes visits by police and council members. Co-owner Jason Smith also testified.
“We are good neighbors and haven’t had any problems,” Smith said. “We are set up for seed-to-sale [one of the conditions of new state regulations] and have a commercial kitchen.”
Smith said the

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