Recreational marijuana legalization changes landscape for Missoula dispensaries

Employees at Garden Mother in Missoula said foot traffic has doubled since the beginning of recreational marijuana sales, and what was a busy day before is now considered an easy day.

The dispensary is designed to feel like a pharmacy and provides patrons with privacy.

“We kind of walk them through the process, educate them on how to consume the flower or any other product that they’re using if they need to,” explained Garden Mother budtender Nicole Hobday.

Hobday said budtenders help facilitate product selection, “what would be an appropriate strength level for them to address their needs without making them feel uncomfortable.”

The influx of new faces is also a trend being seen at another Missoula dispensary, Greener Pastures.

“It’s been good, it’s been keeping us busy throughout the week,” said Zachery Davidson, a budtender at Greener Pastures.

While each marijuana store has a completely different atmosphere and lineup of stock, they all seem ready to help customers.

“I love when customers come in with a bunch of questions, especially for people that have never tried cannabis before,” Davidson told MTN News. “I like to be the first one to be able to…help them out with what they’re wanting to do for their pain or whatever it is that they need cannabis for.”

Davidson noted that those in the industry are working out the kinks in the recreational rollout, saying “there’s definitely some details that still need to be worked out.”

Meanwhile at Firefly — a tucked-away dispensary oriented like a coffee lounge – the first day of recreational sales brought a line out the door.

“Somehow people found us. We got very, very busy that day and broke a lot of records,” Firefly owner Jerry Spurlock noted.

Spurlock also told MTN News the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana has changed the industry locally.

“I like the freedom that people can move around. They can get a lot of different products from different places, and I think it’s good. I think it’s good for the community and it’s good for the job market, that’s for sure.”

Whenever new rules and regulations come in Montana, industry representatives will be ready.

“But in this particular industry, it’s changed so much since I started into it. Even when it was just medical it changed, you know, several times with new laws, new regulations,” Spurlock said. “I expect it to do the same here.”