Archive for May, 2017

Kittery Council tackles new pot rules

May 23rd, 2017

KITTERY, Maine – Residents offered their opinions on proposed medical and recreational marijuana use regulations at the Town Council meeting Monday.

The proposed ordinance changes add definitions for terms related to both medicinal and recreational marijuana to Article 16 of the Kittery town code to recognize the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and testing as permitted uses for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

The council also passed two other ordinances for the home occupation standards for medical marijuana caregivers, by banning it as a minor home occupation, and permitting it as a major home occupation. As a major home occupation, caregivers in Kittery will have to apply for annual occupancy permits from the code enforcement officer to ensure they are not producing obnoxious odors or other negative social impacts to neighbors. The sale of retail marijuana was banned as a home occupation under the new ordinance.

“We discovered when the ballot initiative passed in November … that our code is clearly not set up to address recreational marijuana, but we also hadn’t addressed medical marijuana,” said Town Manager Kendra Amaral. “As we were looking to see what we needed to do, to first of all, make sure we have control of what’s going on now, but also give ourselves some time to really develop thorough ordinances that accomplish what we as a community really want to accomplish.”

The Town Council passed the first two ordinances unanimously. However, when it came to passing a medical marijuana

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170522/kittery-council-tackles-new-pot-rules

All about pot: Rockport forum about local execution of new state law

May 22nd, 2017

The Town of Rockport will be holding a marijuana forum Thursday, May 25, to better understand the new state law and what it means to municipalities.  Some of the topics that will be discussed:

  • What are other municipalities doing?
  • What makes towns a special case?
  • How does a town deal with this issue when the vote was so close?
  • What is the definition of social club, etc.?
  • What is the town’s responsibility with regard to growth and selling?

The forum will take place at 7 p.m. in the Rockport Opera House Meeting room with the Select Board, Planning Board, Ordinance Review Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals, and others. It will be streamed live at livestream.com/Rockportmaine/events/7408793

Speakers will include Maine legislators, Paul McCarrier, who heads up Legalize Maine, and Phil Saucier, an attorney with Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer and Nelson.

The2016 citizens initiative allows recreational consumption of pot, but it is still not legal for you to buy or sell pot, unless you are a medical patient.

The citizens’ initiative allowed for nine months of rule- and regulation-making that began Jan 30. That nine-month timeframe was extended by the Legislature an extra three months so the anticipated start date for legal sales of recreational marijuana is Feb 1, 2018.

Read more: What you need to know about Maine’s new marijuana law, effective Jan. 30

 

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/all-about-pot-rockport-forum-about-local-execution-new-state-law/86543

South Portland proposal would greatly limit sites for marijuana shops

May 22nd, 2017

SOUTH PORTLAND — Retail marijuana businesses would be relegated to the Maine Mall area and outer Broadway near the Scarborough town line under a preliminary zoning proposal that the City Council will begin reviewing Monday.

Municipal staff members drafted the proposal as a starting point for workshop discussion, South Portland City Manager Scott Morelli said in a memo to the council.

The proposal maps the impact of a “sensitive uses buffer,” which would prevent retail marijuana shops from opening within 1,000 feet of any residential property, school, recreational facility, church, correctional facility, drug rehab center, medical marijuana dispensary or other marijuana retail establishment.

At the same time, Councilor Eben Rose has submitted a separate proposal that asks councilors to consider the “economic potential” of the emerging “green economy” since Maine voters approved recreational marijuana use by a slim margin last November.

The city’s proposed zoning map shows the Maine Mall area and outer Broadway near the Scarborough town line where retail marijuana businesses would be relegated under the proposal.

Rose’s proposal acknowledges that the council could choose “to marginalize and isolate such establishments by imposing a suite of restrictions, such (as) large buffer zones that treat such establishments as if they are radioactive waste dumps (and) serve to discourage such establishments from locating in this city.”

Instead, Rose’s proposal offers the possibility to “allow market forces to govern the shape of the new economy” and impose restrictions similar to those that

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/22/zoning-proposal-would-greatly-limit-retail-marijuana-shops-in-south-portland/

Zoning proposal would greatly limit retail marijuana shops in South Portland

May 22nd, 2017

SOUTH PORTLAND — Retail marijuana businesses would be relegated to the Maine Mall area and outer Broadway near the Scarborough town line under a preliminary zoning proposal that the City Council will begin reviewing Monday.

Municipal staff members drafted the proposal as a starting point for workshop discussion, South Portland City Manager Scott Morelli said in a memo to the council.


photo-storephoto-store

The proposal maps the impact of a “sensitive uses buffer,” which would prevent retail marijuana shops from opening within 1,000 feet of any residential property, school, recreational facility, church, correctional facility, drug rehab center, medical marijuana dispensary or other marijuana retail establishment.

At the same time, Councilor Eben Rose has submitted a separate proposal that asks councilors to consider the “economic potential” of the emerging “green economy” since Maine voters approved recreational marijuana use by a slim margin last November.

Rose’s proposal acknowledges that the council could choose “to marginalize and isolate such establishments by imposing a suite of restrictions, such (as) large buffer zones that treat such establishments as if they are radioactive waste dumps (and) serve to discourage such establishments from locating in this city.”

Instead, Rose’s proposal offers the possibility to “allow market forces to govern the shape of the new economy” and impose restrictions similar to those that already apply to retail stores and social clubs that sell wine, malt beverages and liquor.

City officials are developing a wide array of zoning and licensing regulations for marijuana growing, manufacturing, testing and retail

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/22/zoning-proposal-would-greatly-limit-retail-marijuana-shops-in-south-portland/

Maine’s still a long way from figuring out how legal marijuana will work

May 20th, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine — Lewiston-based medical marijuana caregiver Andrew Starkey chose the unofficial marijuana holiday of April 20 to open his newest venture.

Starkey plans to launch an online publication this summer to fill a rising demand for answers about how Maine’s marijuana industry will work, which remains unclear in many ways.

“We’re in the dark, honestly, as much as everybody else is” at this point, Starkey said in a telephone interview.

That consternation is clear as the group of lawmakers crafting the specifics of legalization on Tuesday asked to postpone action on a raft of related bills and continued hearing input from municipalities and others.

[ See which lawmakers are on key committees this session]

It’s still uncertain how much recreational growers will be charged for permits, which Starkey said is a key concern for growers considering entering the market. It’s also unclear whether the state will grant municipalities the ability to impose local taxes on sales.

Still, while that’s on hold, more marijuana-related businesses continue to enter the fray in anticipation. As of May, 10 businesses with “cannabis” in the name registered with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office this year. That’s compared with 18 for all of 2016.

Starkey’s new business, The High Ground Cannabis Journal LLC, was one of the new entrants to the market estimated to grow to $200 million in annual sales by 2020, according to industry analyst firms Arcview Market Research and New Frontier Analytics.

But the timeline for Maine’s industry stalled earlier this year through a

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/05/17/business/maines-still-a-long-way-from-figuring-out-how-legal-marijuana-will-work/

Man gets 10 years for armed robbery of Maine medical marijuana …

May 20th, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine — A New Hampshire man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to more than 10 years in prison for his role in an armed robbery of a licensed medical marijuana caregiver in Lyman, according to court records.

Xavier Watson, 24, of Brentwood, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty last year to one count each of robbery and brandishing a firearm in the furtherance of a crime of violence, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

He was sentenced to three years and one month on the robbery charge and a mandatory additional seven years on the gun charge.

By pleading guilty, Watson admitted he and four other men drove from New Hampshire to Lyman on Jan. 15, 2016, and broke into the home of the caregiver.

Watson had been held without bail since his arrest in New Hampshire a few days after the robbery. He originally was charged in state court. Information on the status of those charges was not available early Thursday.

The target of the robbery was a man who previously sold marijuana to one or more of the co-conspirators, according to the prosecution version of events to which Watson pleaded guilty. The purpose of the robbery was to obtain the proceeds of marijuana sales and of marijuana.

Watson and three of the men broke into the home, brandishing two firearms, the news release said. Watson carried a pistol, and co-defendant Vincent Casazza had a shotgun. Five victims — the caregiver; a 17-year-old girl; her father, who was in

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/05/18/news/state/man-gets-10-years-for-armed-robbery-of-maine-medical-marijuana-provider/?ref=latest

South Portland drops marijuana moratorium | sentry …

May 19th, 2017

SOUTH PORTLAND — South Portland isn’t exactly throwing the doors wide open to pot shops, but as of this week, it’s not rejecting them either.

In a pair of 4-3 votes Monday, May 15, the South Portland City Council decided to not enact a new moratorium on retail marijuana establishments.

Originally adopted Dec. 19 and backdated to the first formal council debate on the topic Nov. 21 – action that followed a statewide referendum vote Nov. 8 to de-criminalize recreational use of marijuana – the ban on accepting site plan review or license applications for retail stores or social clubs, as well as cultivation, manufacturing, and testing facilities to prepare the product for market, was set to expire May 20.

The new six-month moratorium would have extended the ban until Nov. 30. Because a moratorium is, in effect, an ordinance, albeit one with a sunset clause, the city charter requires a supermajority of five council votes for passage. Mayor Patti Smith and Councilors Maxine Beecher, Linda Cohen, and Susan Henderson voted for new sixmonth moratoriums, while Councilors Brad Fox, Claude Morgan and Evan Rose opposed the idea.

Although the statewide referendum was close enough to go to a recount, passing by 4,073 votes of 759,311 ballots cast, the mood in South Portland was less obscure, with 57.6 percent of voters in favor of legalization. That was the second time residents had their say, having adopted a local measure with 52.4 percent in favor in 2014.

“This is not about not heeding the will of the

Article source: http://sentry.mainelymediallc.com/news/2017-05-19/Front_Page/South_Portland_drops_marijuana_moratorium.html

South Portland drops marijuana moratorium

May 19th, 2017

SOUTH PORTLAND — South Portland isn’t exactly throwing the doors wide open to pot shops, but as of this week, it’s not rejecting them either.

In a pair of 4-3 votes Monday, May 15, the South Portland City Council decided to not enact a new moratorium on retail marijuana establishments.

Originally adopted Dec. 19 and backdated to the first formal council debate on the topic Nov. 21 – action that followed a statewide referendum vote Nov. 8 to de-criminalize recreational use of marijuana – the ban on accepting site plan review or license applications for retail stores or social clubs, as well as cultivation, manufacturing, and testing facilities to prepare the product for market, was set to expire May 20.

The new six-month moratorium would have extended the ban until Nov. 30. Because a moratorium is, in effect, an ordinance, albeit one with a sunset clause, the city charter requires a supermajority of five council votes for passage. Mayor Patti Smith and Councilors Maxine Beecher, Linda Cohen, and Susan Henderson voted for new sixmonth moratoriums, while Councilors Brad Fox, Claude Morgan and Evan Rose opposed the idea.

Although the statewide referendum was close enough to go to a recount, passing by 4,073 votes of 759,311 ballots cast, the mood in South Portland was less obscure, with 57.6 percent of voters in favor of legalization. That was the second time residents had their say, having adopted a local measure with 52.4 percent in favor in 2014.

“This is not about not heeding the will of the

Article source: http://sentry.mainelymediallc.com/news/2017-05-19/Front_Page/South_Portland_drops_marijuana_moratorium.html

Maine man in recovery makes it to the Today Show

May 19th, 2017

I’m thrilled to announce that Maine’s awesome medical marijuana program will be part of a Thursday morning feature on NBC’s Today Show.

The Today Show is taking a look at medical marijuana as an exit strategy for our nation’s addiction epidemic. Back in January of 2016, I became intrigued by some local caregivers who testified before the Legislature about treating addiction with medical marijuana, and I’ve blogged a bit about it since.

Today Show staff came to Winthrop, Maine, last month to meet with two of those caregivers, Catherine and Glenn Lewis, one of their patients, and military veterans who are treating their medical/mental health conditions and substance use disorder issues with medical marijuana.

Photo of the Lewises provided by Catherine and Glenn Lewis

The piece will also include footage from an inpatient facility in California where clients can access medical marijuana treatment for addiction in an established clinical setting. I’m excited to see what the process looks like in that more formal setting, and I know ultimately Maine caregivers would like to see such an operation here.

Currently caregivers who work with addicts do so mostly as community-based, outpatient supports. The Lewises and others hope the media attention will generate the interest and resources necessary to develop an inpatient program here in Maine.

I’m told the segment will be about 10 minutes long, which is quite a chunk of time to dedicate to the topic. One of the Mainers involved is someone I know quite

Article source: http://callahan.bangordailynews.com/2017/05/16/home/maine-man-in-recovery-makes-it-to-the-today-show/

Man gets 10 years for armed robbery of Maine medical marijuana provider

May 18th, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine — A New Hampshire man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to more than 10 years in prison for his role in an armed robbery of a licensed medical marijuana caregiver in Lyman, according to court records.

Xavier Watson, 24, of Brentwood, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty last year to one count each of robbery and brandishing a firearm in the furtherance of a crime of violence, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

He was sentenced to three years and one month on the robbery charge and a mandatory additional seven years on the gun charge.

By pleading guilty, Watson admitted he and four other men drove from New Hampshire to Lyman on Jan. 15, 2016, and broke into the home of the caregiver.

Watson had been held without bail since his arrest in New Hampshire a few days after the robbery. He originally was charged in state court. Information on the status of those charges was not available early Thursday.

The target of the robbery was a man who previously sold marijuana to one or more of the co-conspirators, according to the prosecution version of events to which Watson pleaded guilty. The purpose of the robbery was to obtain the proceeds of marijuana sales and of marijuana.

Watson and three of the men broke into the home, brandishing two firearms, the news release said. Watson carried a pistol, and co-defendant Vincent Casazza had a shotgun. Five victims — the caregiver; a 17-year-old girl; her father, who was in

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/05/18/news/state/man-gets-10-years-for-armed-robbery-of-maine-medical-marijuana-provider/?ref=latest