Great Falls couple fies lawsuit challenging the city’s dispensary ban | News

GREAT FALLS, Mont. Janelle Yatsko and Dale Yatsko, a couple from Great Falls, are challenging the city’s ban against marijuana dispensaries within its city limits. 

“The Yatsko’s have operated a small family business in the county outside of city limits for 14 years, they’ve got all the state licenses and they got an adult use license when that became legal in Montana,”Raph Graybill was the Yatsko attorney. 

They own Green Creek Dispensary outside of Great Falls. They believe the state law overrides Great Falls’ ban and should be able operate a licensed dispensary there. 

In 2020, Montanans voted to legalize marijuana use and possession for adults over 21 years old in Initiative 190. (I-190). 

House Bill 701 passed in 2021. It said that adult-use cannabis dispensaries would be legal in all counties where a majority votes for I-190. Cascade County was one of those counties. 

“Local governments can have additional regulations, they can zone, they can do inspections but they can’t ban them outright. The only way to ban them outright is if you have another election,”Graybill. 

However, dispensaries within city limits are still prohibited. 

Graybill claims that the Yatskos tried to obtain approval for a safety inspector certificate (SIC), to open a site within city limits. However, the city refused to grant them this certificate. 

“The city refused to help them. The city says we’re going to deny your permit because we don’t really care what state law says, we’re going to ban in it Great Falls,”Graybill. 

Four of the five City Commission members voted to block the Yatskos during an April meeting. 

You can watch the special meeting starting April 19 Click here

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to allow the Yatsko’s to receive relief during the case. 

Graybill states that the city has 21 calendar days to respond. After that, they have time to reply to Graybill.

It comes down to it: a hearing should be held within the next 1-2 months. 

“They [the Yatsko’s] want state law to mean what it says. The state was very clear, they’re going to regulate this thing, they’re going to set the rules and cities don’t get to go around the state and re-write their own rules. The people were very clear on how they voted, the legislators were very clear on how they voted, and this is the law,”Graybill. 

We reached out to them and they confirmed that they have all files and documents, but are not commenting. 

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.