Montana legalized medical marijuana in 2004, and since then a steady stream of small dispensaries has been opening in cities such as Billings. This past month, two medical marijuana businesses were firebombed, and one had the phrase “NOT IN OUR TOWN” spray-painted on its storefront. Days later, the Billings City Council voted to suspend the licensing of new dispensaries for six months. The Missoulian reports:
A rock was used to break the glass of Montana Therapeutics at 4:30 a.m. Monday, and a beer bottle filled with gasoline was lit and thrown inside, Billings police Sgt. Kevin Iffland said. A passer-by reported the fire.
A day earlier, at about 5 a.m., surveillance video showed two young men spray-painting “NOT IN OUR TOWN” on the front of Big Sky Patient Care, and then throw a rock through the front door followed by a flaming bottle, Big Sky owner David Couch said.
Trevor McFarren, co-owner of Montana Therapeutics, said his business provides medical marijuana for about 50 people and has operated since January. Until now, the business has never had a problem, a complaint or even a bad phone call, he said.
McFarren said he believes Monday’s council vote has something to do with the timing of the act that he estimated caused $2,500 in damage.
“I’m sure they’re trying to fuel the fire about (the vote),” he said. “It’s more of an attack on the community than anything.”