GREAT FALLS — In the fall of 2022, the Great Falls City Commission approved an ordinance allowing the establishment of marijuana dispensaries within industrial zones in city limits.
Early this month, the first marijuana dispensary in Great Falls - Top Shelf Botanicals - opened their doors at 750 Sixth Street SW inside the Wheat Building.
The business has several other locations across Montana and also in Oklahoma.
Budtender Kaiden Yates hopes to educate the newly-acquired clientele.
“I totally understand the stigma. I think we've all kind of gone through phases where we're kind of unsure, but where that changes is when you educate yourself, when you ask questions, and you really do realize that cannabis is a lot more than just getting high. There's medicinal factors,” says Yates.
The CEO of Top Shelf, Wes Stucki, is excited to be able to provide for those much closer to where they live.
"Typically, people have to drive outside the city limits to get their their medicine, and this is an opportunity for them to get it, you know, in their neighborhood, which is the way it should be,” says Stucki.
Jackie Beck understands there may be some controversy over the store due to the recent and hotly contested debates over marijuana zoning ordinances but she views it as an opportunity to grow.
"And when there is negative things we think that's healthy and we just approach it in that manner that everyone has their own opinion,” says Beck.
Management at the shop is looking forward to growing alongside the community.
"We're just grateful for Great Falls. We're grateful for the reception that we've had and look forward to a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with the town,” says Stucki.
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