Business Monthly

The 2024 Cannabis Issue

From high-class cannabis to Tamarack's track record of sustainable growth, northwest Montana's marijuana market has undergone dramatic changes. Plus, market metrics.

By Maggie Dresser
The Cannabis Counter in downtown Whitefish on June 18, 2024. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

High-Class Cannabis

After Montana voted to legalize recreational marijuana dispensaries in 2021, cannabis crusaders have been working to destigmatize the herb and attract a new demographic of clients in Whitefish

At the Cannabis Counter located in downtown Whitefish, shoppers can wander into the marijuana dispensary on Baker Avenue to enter a bright storefront with a minimalist design, accented with a pastel color scheme and deliberately placed floral arrangements.

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Tamarack Cannabis in Whitefish on June 20, 2024. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

15 Years of Growth at Tamarack Cannabis

After launching in 2009 as a medical marijuana dispensary, Tamarack underwent a significant expansion following recreational legalization, growing its economic footprint to include two retail stores, multiple grow operations, and distributing its product to 11 Montana dispensaries

When Tamarack Dispensary first launched in the Flathead Valley in 2009, its original owners set up shop in a one-room store providing medical marijuana to 50 patients. In the 15 years since Tamarack’s debut, Montana has updated or overhauled its marijuana laws five times; the industry has endured federal raids at greenhouses, seizures of grow operations and, in 2011, threats by state lawmakers to repeal the legalization of medicinal use altogether.

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This Month’s Market Metrics

Gas Prices (June 25)
California (highest) – $4.76/gal | Mississippi (lowest) – $2.89/gal | Montana – $3.41/gal

Glacier Park International Airport Passenger Stats (May)
Departures 2024 29,182 | 2023 27,297 Arrivals 2024 33,541 | 2023 27,397

Unemployment Rates (May)
U.S. 4% | Montana 3.1% | Flathead County 3.3%

Flathead County Residential Sales (May)
2024 142 | 2023 147 | 2022 179 | 2021 221


Financial Corner: What to Know Before ‘Reversing’ Your Retirement

Your Social Security isn’t the only benefit that could be affected by your earnings

If you’ve retired, you may have thought you closed the book on one chapter of your life. But what happens if you need to “reverse” your retirement? Due to higher inflation and rising interest rates, many retirees are taking out more money from their retirement accounts than they had originally anticipated. As a result, some are headed back to the workforce. 

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