*Updated 8//10/22 at 12:30pm
UPDATE: We are still asking those in favor of adult-use recreational marijuana in Flathead County to please write to and call our County commissioners and share your point of view. After a successful and peaceful rally Tuesday evening, and a great turnout at Wednesday morning’s public hearing, our voices are beginning to be heard. However, those opposed to the current green market are actively working to shut it down. Opponents continue to paint a negative picture of the cannabis industry, despite presenting zero factual evidence at the Historic Courthouse to back up their claims. Remember, this release for the public hearing was put out quickly and quietly. It is essential that we contact our Flathead County Commissioners now and remind them that we already voted for legal adult-use cannabis and why it is essential to keep this green market in our community.
**Please see below for our sample letter and the County Commissioner’s contact information.
Original Post 8/06/22
The below news release was distributed Friday August 5, 2022 by the Flathead County Commissioners. In short, it threatens the future of safe, legal recreational cannabis in Flathead County, would remove tax dollars designated to improve our communities, could hurt or destroy local industry employees’ livelihoods and goes against everything the public voted for. Please join us and spread the word about the Commissioners session for public comment. If we rally together we can win! We have done it before, so let’s do it again and fight for our rights and what we all voted for.
How You Can Help:
JOIN THE PUBLIC RALLY
We’re showing up in numbers on Tuesday, August 9th at 4PM at the Historic Courthouse (800 S. Main Street, Kalispell) to make our voices heard! Make and bring rally signs and let’s remind the Commissioners why we voted for safe, legal adult-use marijuana.
ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING
Flathead County Commissioners will hold a public hearing for comment on Wednesday, August 10th at 9AM at the Historic Courthouse (800 S. Main Street, Kalispell). This is our chance to make sure they are listening to what we are saying!
***WRITE AND CALL FLATHEAD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
We have made this so easy to do by drafting a sample letter and gathering the contacts you need. The more avenues we hit and the more they hear from us, the better. Please see sample letter and contacts below.
Sample Letter & Contacts
FLATHEAD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – Phone (406) 758-5503
Chairman of the Board Pamela J. Holmquist – [email protected]
Commissioner Randy L. Brodehl – [email protected]
Commissioner Brad W Abell – [email protected]
County Administrator Pete Melnick – [email protected]
County Public Information Officer Steve White – [email protected]
I am writing to you today to express my deep concern in regards to the public comment session to opt out for adult marijuana use in Flathead County. I strongly urge you to continue to support the current legal standings of adult use marijuana in Flathead County, and continue to allow our adult residents to have access to safe, legal cannabis.
First and foremost, this is what your constituents voted for. Flathead County overwhelmingly voted “yes” to allow recreational adult-use marijuana. We have all already voted and this is what the people of the County want. Since the legalization, many locally owned and operated cannabis businesses have invested and expanded in response to this vote and the overwhelming support from the community through sales. The businesses are here to stay and deserve to allow their local families to thrive in a new business sector opened up to them through democracy.
Second, we should all have the freedom to choose. Everyone should have the freedom to choose. Even if you don’t enjoy or like the idea of marijuana at all, you get to have a choice. Adult residents that don’t enjoy marijuana can simply choose to not shop for cannabis or support cannabis businesses, just as those who don’t like beer can choose not to shop for beer or support breweries.
Third, cannabis businesses are excellent for the local community. They support and donate to many non profits, local events and community projects. Furthermore, these businesses are members of the local area Chambers and Visitors Bureaus, and were welcomed this year with open arms. Tamarack Cannabis is one example of a cannabis business that has made huge positive community impacts including but not limited to, regular support and donations to DREAM Adaptive Montana, Flathead County Sheriff’s Association, Friends of Flathead Avalanche Center, Glacier Queer Alliance, Nate Chute Foundation, SNOW Bus and BMCA, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the Abbie Shelter, the Alpine Theatre Project and local Veterans, food banks, bands and farmer’s markets. That’s just one business. Imagine what 60 cannabis businesses in the Flathead can do.
Fourth, beyond their philanthropic impact, cannabis businesses are great for the local economy. Cannabis business owners are providing jobs for local residents, utilizing local services and builders to expand with the growing industry, and providing excellent local products that are widely used for medical purposes, even when purchased under the recreational umbrella.
Fifth, cannabis businesses provide safety over the black market. Regardless of the law, cannabis will be sold and consumed in Flathead County. Our residents have gotten comfortable with the green market over the last eight months, and they won’t simply stop consuming cannabis. Why not continue to test and regulate these products so we know what we are consuming? We can continue to provide the safe, legal cannabis market that the public voted for.
Last, but certainly not least, cannabis businesses are generating a lot of valuable tax dollars for the state and local communities that are now able to fund a lot of worthwhile projects. In the month of July alone, Flathead County collected nearly half a million dollars in taxes from recreational sales. Let’s keep this momentum going and keep investing in opioid recovery and treatment, our natural resources and our nation’s Veterans. Flathead County can benefit from all of these resources. Please do not push them away.
In closing, I again would like to strongly urge you to keep the current laws of adult use recreational marijuana in place. This is what we voted for, we deserve the freedom to choose, cannabis businesses enhance our local communities, contribute to our local economy, provide safety and security for the industry and generate lots of useful tax dollars. Please listen to the people of Flathead County and allow us to keep safe access to adult-use marijuana.