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Billings medical marijuana business files lawsuit against city

Lawsuit claims city unlawfully restricts age of dispensary employees
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Posted at 4:03 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 18:03:12-04

BILLINGS - An ordinance regulating the sale of medical marijuana in Billings unlawfully restricts the age of those who work at the business, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Yellowstone County District Court.

Montana Advanced Caregivers (MAC) and three of its employees filed the lawsuit seeking to overturn a section of the city ordinance passed last November that makes it unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to work at a medical marijuana dispensary within the city limits. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ordinance and an order declaring the city ordinance invalid and unenforceable.

The lawsuit argues the city ordinance is more restrictive than the state laws established to regulate medical marijuana sales which allow a person not "under 18 years of age" to work for a licensed marijuana provider.

The city ordinance "makes it unlawful for the Employee Plaintiffs to work in MAC, or any other marijuana business within the jurisdiction f the City of Billings," the lawsuit states. "As a result, the Employee Plaintiffs will be forced to lose their jobs, even though each of the Employee Plaintiffs meets all the requirements to be an employee in a medical marijuana business under the laws of the State of Montana."

The three employees named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Jet Tepnergalland, Kyler Koppes, and Kynzee Cooper, who all work at Montana Advanced Caregivers and are all over 18 but not 21 years of age.

RELATED: City of Billings ready to issue medical marijuana business licenses