Heed the weed

Commission holds first reading of Madison County Commercial Marijuana ordinance

In response to the recent legalization of marijuana and at the behest of residents of Shining Mountains neighborhood residents, Madison County Commissioners charged Madison County Deputy Attorney with the task of creating an ordinance outlying the cans and cannots of the growing industry.

Commissioner Jim Hart read the eight pages of ORDINANCE 3-2021 verbatim to the several attendees at the meeting, present physically and online.

The document’s intention, read Hart, was to permit marijuana-related businesses to operate in Madison County subject to certain regulations intended to mitigate the present and reasonably foreseeable future concerns which residents have expressed.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office will enforce the proposed regulations and restrictions which include:

• No commercial marijuana premises may be located with 500 feet of a school or daycare.

• No commercial marijuana premises may be located within 250 feet of a library, public park or pool (does not include fishing accesses, State or National forests, campgrounds or BLM lands.)

• No marijuana manufacturer may be located within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare, library, public park, public pool or 250 feet of a residence.

• No commercial marijuana premises or marijuana provider may advertise or promote itself, marijuana use, or a specific marijuana product within 500 feet of a school, daycare facility, library, public park, or public pool.

• No commercial marijuana premises may be located within a residential subdivision.

The first two restrictions listed above do not apply to any commercial marijuana operations that can show they have been in continuous operation at the same location for at least 30 days prior to the passage of the ordinance. The exceptions further detail there would be an exception in the case that any schools, daycares, libraries, public parks or residences arise near an already established marijuana business.

Commissioners could grant a location exception upon receipt of a petition signed by at least 50% of the real property owners within the subdivision stating they’re in favor of permitting commercial marijuana business there. A public hearing would follow. If all real property owners are in favor, the exception must be granted.

Other requirements in the ordinance include keeping THC products out of plain sight of residences, public property and roadways. Grow lights cannot be visible by the aforementioned places at night.

Sanitation, public safety and security requirements were also addressed, and marijuana growers will be required to monitor and record their water use for at least three years.

A violation of the ordinance would result in a $250 fine. If the violation is not corrected with 30 days of notice, the owner or operator will be suspended from operating the business in Madison County for 30 days or until the violation is remedied and the fine is paid.

The three commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of the Madison County marijuana ordinance, followed by little discussion from attendees who expressed their approval.

Public comment is now being taken, with the second reading and approval set for Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the second-floor courtroom of the Administrative Office Building in Virginia City.

Copies of the ordinance are available at county office and library locations as well as online under public/legal notices at

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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