“Our hip strip and downtown are already having a huge impact with new additions to (cannabis) stores,” she said. “For decades people have worked so hard to create a vibrant inner city, and millions and millions have been invested in our inner city.”
She believes cannabis stores should perhaps have a buffer of 1,000 feet.
“In just 12 to 18 months, we’re seeing a tremendous dramatic change in the overall atmosphere downtown with marijuana stores opening before the start date on the 1st,” said Jones.
In September, the Missoula City Council’s Land Use and Planning Committee heard from city planners about proposed changes to the zoning laws.
Spencer Starke, a city project planner, said there are 70 marijuana companies in the city limits. Of these, 50 are pharmacies and 20 are distributed among manufacturers, breeders and mixed-use companies.
Cassie Tripard, a city planner, said there are some important “impact issues” that zoning regulations can alleviate.
First, there are public health and safety concerns related to the manufacture of marijuana products, she said. These include chemical production, the need for adequate ventilation, the prevention of mold, the disposal of wastewater and high energy consumption. To mitigate this, these companies could be relegated to certain industrial areas.