City Council Clears Way for Medical Marijuana Clinic

December 15th, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

ELLSWORTH — The City Council Monday cleared the way for a medical marijuana dispensary to open in Ellsworth.

The council voted unanimously to approve changes to Ellsworth’s Land Use Ordinance and its License and Permit Ordinance to allow the clinics.

The council also voted unanimously to repeal a moratorium it had enacted last year on such dispensaries.

Maine Organic Therapy holds a Maine Department of Health and Human Services license to operate a dispensary in District 7, which encompasses Hancock and Washington counties. The organization is looking for a site in Ellsworth for its dispensary.

About 10 members of the public attended the meeting and one resident spoke against the prospect of having a medical marijuana clinic in the city.

Sonja Lee said she was concerned because she hadn’t heard anyone address the issue of liability with car accidents driven by people on medical marijuana.

“This is a serious issue,” Lee said. “You have a responsibility for the safety of our city.”

The council set an annual licensing fee of $1,000 for the dispensary at the suggestion of Councilor Stephen Beathem.

City personnel had set the fee at $500, which Beathem said would be insufficient.

“I think this is going to be very time intensive for our police department,” Beathem said, adding that the fee could always be lowered.

The council added a requirement to the ordinance that a dispensary provides the police chief with a list of vehicles that will be making deliveries.

Joe Lusardi, a representative of Maine Organic Therapy, said providing that information would not be a problem.

“We

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