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As recreational marijuana approaches, Bozeman businesses prepare

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Posted at 7:41 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 12:25:16-04

BOZEMAN — Just two short months away from the start of recreational marijuana sales in the state of Montana and businesses like Collective Elevation in Bozeman are starting to get ready for an influx of people and worry about more competition.

“A lot more dispensaries are going to be popping up and that's going to lead to more competition,” said Adam Arnold, co-owner of Collective Elevation in Bozeman.

Currently, the City of Bozeman has a cap on the number of marijuana businesses maxed out at 20, but that cap is set to expire in July 2023.

“We probably don't need any more, but that being said I'm not against the free market and everybody should have an opportunity to have access,” says Arnold.

With the limit on businesses for the first 18 months, Collective Elevation hopes that they and other dispensaries will be able to take advantage of increased traffic and revenue, much of which they attribute to Gallatin County’s tourism industry.

“There are one million people in the state, but there are 3 million people who drive through Bozeman to go to Yellowstone,” said Arnold.

Montana will ban new licenses from Jan. 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023. Currently, only those who had or applied for a business license on or before Nov. 3, 2020, will be able to sell recreational marijuana when the law takes effect.

“The legislature has done a good job protecting some of our interests and recognizing some of the hoops and hurdles that we have had to go through,” says Arnold.

Arnold points to House Bill 701, which does not allow for new businesses to apply for a marijuana license for the first 18 months. He says this is a good way for marijuana revenue to stay in Montana.

“They then can have access to large tiers that we had to spend 10 year years growing to, and they will be able to join on day one,” said Arnold. “The scariest issue is for the people who have carried this industry on their backs.”

As the days get closer and closer to January 1, Collective Elevation says they are ready for what lies ahead come the new year.

As recreational marijuana approaches, Bozeman businesses prepare