New dispensary to replace closed RadioShack

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Bloom Montana, a medical marijuana dispensary, is set to open in the closed RadioShack building by the end of May. (Luke Hollister/The Western News)

Bloom Montana, a medical marijuana dispensary, is scheduled to be opening shop in Libby by the end of May.

Karl Hartmann, a representative of Bloom Montana, said discussions recently started about the exact opening date.

Bloom has several locations spread out across Montana. The dispensary will be located by Highway 2 in the same building RadioShack was in before closing.

One of the reasons for opening a branch in Libby is to help make medications more accessible and increase patient safety, Hartmann said.

Stocking up on medications to carry across the state can be dangerous, he said. Driving from Libby to Billings is a long drive to get medication.

Often, people can just call into a Walgreens and pick up what they need, but if that is not an option, Bloom can help, he said.

Bloom is intended to be more of a quiet, peaceful and “lowkey” place, he said. The Bloom dispensaries generally have an older crowd.

“[We’re] not trying to be the guy on the corner with the inflated tubeman type of thing,” he said.

The business will provide customers with basic services such as a point system and credit, he said.

Bloom is looking to hire local employees and will probably hire a total of four in the future as it grows, he said.

Barb Turner, owner of Alternative ReLeaf, said she is wary of a new business such as Bloom coming to town.

Dispensaries such as Bloom grow and produce their products outside of Libby, she said. Alternative ReLeaf grows and operates in Libby.

“Each and every one of these dispensaries that come in, puts local jobs at risk,” she said. They do not grow here and are just a storefront.

People in Libby could lose their jobs if a business such as Bloom undercuts prices, she said.

Her concern is that Alternative ReLeaf, a business which employs eight people, would eventually be shut down, she said.

“I was shocked when the third one moved in,” she said.

The customer base for medical marijuana is expected to continue to grow, she said. But, she thinks it will level off.

Libby having a fourth dispensary is a unique scenario, she said.

Bloom has a great reputation though, she said. “I hear they do things right, and that’s really important.”

Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Peck, commissioner for the Libby district, said he thinks capitalism will play out in the end.

Another medical marijuna dispensary in Lincoln County seems like it might be kind of excessive but it is a free enterprise, he said.

As far as the medication, “there’s folks that very legitimately need it,” he said.

When the first dispensary came to the county, Peck asked community members if it kept them off prescription painkillers. “They said yes and I said I’m sold,” he said.

Prescription painkillers are the number one problem in this country, he said. People are getting addicted.

Interested applicants for Bloom can email resumes to Khartmann@bloommt.com or drop them off at the dispensary once it opens.

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