Montana Governor Visits Marijuana Dispensary


Photo: KPAX
Gov. Brian Schweitzer, right, talks with Missoula dispensary owner Rick Rosio

​Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer visited a medical marijuana dispensary in Missoula on Thursday. No, the Governor wasn’t picking up an eighth of Trainwreck; he said he was there to learn what needs to be done to address “problems” with the state’s medicinal cannabis system.

Schweitzer, a Democrat, is, as far as Toke of the Town has been able to determine, the first Governor in the United States to visit a medical marijuana dispensary.

“Tell me what it is that you would recommend that we change in Montana’s medical marijuana law that would improve the business and maybe give it a little bit better air of legitimacy,” Schweitzer said while at Montana Pain Management, reports Irina Cates of KPAX.

Photo: KPAX

​The Governor sat down with Rick Rosio, who manages the dispensary, to discuss the medical marijuana business, which, Schweitzer said, was simply a concept when voters approved it in 2004.
“We didn’t put the boundaries in at that time and now the business has gotten out ahead of the regulatory environment, and we need to build some boundaries,” Schweitzer said.
He added that one solution might be limiting the number of marijuana grow operations and the number of providers. Such a move, the Governor suggested, could make it more manageable for the state to keep track of the business.
“We need to inspect these operations to make sure they are growing only what they need to their patients and they supply marijuana only to their patients,” Schweitzer said.
Having the Governor at his place of business was a good opportunity to show him how a medical marijuana dispensary can work, according to Rosio.
“The Governor had some wonderful, kind words and was really assuring that he’s going to take a very practical stance on this and try to fix where the problems are,” Rosio said.