MISSOULA — With the sale and manufacture of recreational marijuana set begin across much of Montana, the Missoula City Council on Monday finalized the basic rules and regulations it will use to guide the fledgling industry.

The regulations, now months in the making, will take effect in January when recreational sales begin in businesses already licensed to sell medical marijuana. Roughly 57 businesses are registered to do so in Missoula County, according to a city report.

Other interested retailers can apply for a state license later in 2022.

“I think this framework does a good job of balancing both recreational use approved by voters while protecting citizens and bringing predictability,” said council member Heidi West.

Among other things, the regulations restrict cultivation operations to certain districts in Missoula based upon the size of the business. Grow operations of 1,000 square feet or less can operate in most commercial areas of the city while operations larger than 2,500 square feet will be restricted to areas zoned as industrial.

The new rules also work to prevent the clustering of marijuana dispensaries in certain areas. Over the past few months, some have expressed concern that such businesses are taking over certain blocks of the city and, in

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