On Monday, the City of Havre held their first vote to amend a section in the Havre city code.
The proposal states: "No use of land shall be permitted or conditionally permitted within the City of Havre that is in violation of federal, state or local law."
Mayor Tim Solomon says this would affect the marijuana dispensaries that are currently within city limits.
The first reading ended with a split vote, leaving Solomon to make the final decision. He voted to approve the ordinance.
Solomon told MTN News: "I don't believe that they will be going away. I think that they will be moving. What it does it just bans them from operating from within the city limits. That is not unusual with what cities have been doing around the state. They will still be available just not within the limits of the city.”
The second reading will take place on December 18th.
If passed, it will become an ordinance 30 days after the second vote takes place.
Kimberly Faechner is an advocate for medical marijuana and says the ordinance will hurt those who need it.
In a statement to KRTV she wrote:
“Our position is very simple: we want a decision made with the best interest of our community as a whole in mind; one that is objective and based on logic, rather than driven by fear-based speculation. If the council members ban the operation of dispensaries entirely in the city of Havre, they are only hurting the patients who've obtained recommendations in accordance with Montana law. A sizable number of elderly and incapacitated card holders cannot travel long distances to obtain their medicines. These are the ones who will be the most detrimentally impacted by the ban. To date, the council has not considered all the facts to make a fully-informed decision. For example, they have taken no steps to verify that the risk of loss of federal funding actually exists. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have either medicinal or recreational cannabis or both and not a single county, municipality, or state entity in any of those states have lost federal funding as a result. Additionally, we offered the city council a considerable amount of evidence from accredited, nationally recognized organizations, unaffiliated with the cannabis industry, that both show the medical values of cannabis and confirm that crime rates often drop in areas where legal dispensaries are allowed. We continue to hope they will read and consider this information before making their final vote.”