Archive for November, 2018

Portland Planning Board OKs new marijuana zoning map

November 30th, 2018

The city planning board unanimously approved out a new marijuana zoning map Tuesday.

The proposal, which now goes to the City Council for consideration, would treat adult-use and medical marijuana businesses the same, allowing recreational businesses into the same zones where Portland decided to allow medical dispensaries and grows back in 2010.


photo-store

The zoning proposal is just one step in Portland’s journey to rolling out commercial recreational marijuana. The city also must adopt an adult-use licensing and permitting process, but will have to wait for the state to complete writing its licensing and testing regulations before it can do so.

“We’re taking a baby steps approach here,” Planning Director Tuck O’Brien told the board.

In October, the city adopted a three-month moratorium on all cannabis businesses to make the time needed to decide where they would be allowed. The council will consider the zoning plans soon, staff said. The moratorium lapses on Dec. 13.

Under this plan, Portland would allow marijuana grows, manufacturing and testing labs in most industrial zones, as well as a commercial zone that hosts businesses that serve highway traffic. Retail stores would be allowed in most commercial zones, including downtown.

Retail stores could seek a conditional permit in business community zones where gas stations, bars and breweries are currently not allowed to protect residents from noise and traffic, but the zoning changes do not guarantee access.

Under the proposed rules, only one zone – the B-4 commercial corridor zone intended to serve highway

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/11/27/portland-planning-board-oks-new-marijuana-zoning-map/

Portland designates zones where marijuana businesses can open

November 29th, 2018
Steven Senne | AP

There are new regulations for where marijuana businesses can and can’t open in Portland.

Selling pot is still illegal right now, but city planners say they are getting a jump start before it’s legal.

Portland’s Planning Board unanimously approved a new marijuana zoning map that will dictate where recreational and medical marijuana businesses can be.

“One standard for everybody, it’s streamlined, I think it will make it a lot easier,” marijuana law expert Tammie Snow said.

[Massachusetts shops sell more than $2.2M of marijuana in 1st week of legal sales]

The proposals follows the same zone map set up for medical businesses eight years ago, allowing grow operations and testing in most industrial zones, and retail stores in most commercial zones, including downtown.

“Pretty much you go from the Old Port, then out along Forest Avenue, which makes a lot of sense,” Snow said.

These are high traffic areas that many say would be big for business.

“It

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/29/news/portland/portland-designates-zones-where-marijuana-businesses-can-open/

South Berwick reviews York River study

November 29th, 2018

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Approval of the first reading of a York River study, plus debate on marijuana legislation, highlighted Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

If approved by the council at its Dec. 11 meeting, South Berwick would endorse a designation to have the York River and its tributaries declared a federal Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The town of Kittery approved the designation at its Nov. 26 Town Council meeting. Eliot and York have endorsed the designation.

The federal designation would enable communities bordering the river to access federal funding to protect the river and its watershed for purposes such as recreation, fisheries and water quality.

Jean Demetracopoulos, South Berwick delegate to the York River Study Commission, said towns that approve the federal status will retain local control over their sections of the river. “The goal is to hand off the river to the next generation in the same condition as it is today,” she said.

Earlier in the meeting, there was spirited discussion on how to move forward on municipal policies on medical and recreational marijuana. Councilors agreed with member Abigail Kemble’s suggestion to create an ad hoc committee to study the impact of recreational pot sales, similar to efforts taken by Eliot. Such a measure would allow the town to “start a more productive conversation on medical marijuana,” Kemble said.

“We should make sure that all ordinances and regulations are up to date so medical marijuana facilities are not set up in place where they

Article source: http://www.fosters.com/news/20181127/south-berwick-reviews-york-river-study

Portland Planning Board OKs new marijuana zoning map – Portland …

November 29th, 2018

The city planning board unanimously approved out a new marijuana zoning map Tuesday.

The proposal, which now goes to the City Council for consideration, would treat adult-use and medical marijuana businesses the same, allowing recreational businesses into the same zones where Portland decided to allow medical dispensaries and grows back in 2010.


photo-store

The zoning proposal is just one step in Portland’s journey to rolling out commercial recreational marijuana. The city also must adopt an adult-use licensing and permitting process, but will have to wait for the state to complete writing its licensing and testing regulations before it can do so.

“We’re taking a baby steps approach here,” Planning Director Tuck O’Brien told the board.

In October, the city adopted a three-month moratorium on all cannabis businesses to make the time needed to decide where they would be allowed. The council will consider the zoning plans soon, staff said. The moratorium lapses on Dec. 13.

Under this plan, Portland would allow marijuana grows, manufacturing and testing labs in most industrial zones, as well as a commercial zone that hosts businesses that serve highway traffic. Retail stores would be allowed in most commercial zones, including downtown.

Retail stores could seek a conditional permit in business community zones where gas stations, bars and breweries are currently not allowed to protect residents from noise and traffic, but the zoning changes do not guarantee access.

Under the proposed rules, only one zone – the B-4 commercial corridor zone intended to serve highway

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/11/27/portland-planning-board-oks-new-marijuana-zoning-map/

With only a 57-vote split, recount set in race for Maine probate judge …

November 28th, 2018
Kevin Bennett | BDN

A recount of ballots cast in the election for Hancock County probate judge — the margin of which has narrowed since Election Day — has been scheduled to get under way Wednesday.

According to state officials, incumbent Will Blaisdell of Ellsworth holds a 57-vote lead over Lynne Williams of Bar Harbor out of nearly 28,000 votes cast in the race. Blaisdell, a Republican, has 13,943 votes in the preliminary count, while Williams, a Democrat, has 13,886.

Previous unofficial results compiled by the Bangor Daily News had indicated that Blaisdell held a lead of more than 200 votes. With the updated results, he now holds a razor-thin 0.2 percent advantage over Williams.

Williams said Monday that ballots cast through the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which are sent in directly to the Secretary of State’s office rather than to towns and cities, are what helped her narrow the gap. She said she received 209 votes from American

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/26/news/hancock/with-only-a-57-vote-split-recount-set-in-race-for-maine-probate-judge/

South Berwick reviews York River study – Fosters

November 28th, 2018

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Approval of the first reading of a York River study, plus debate on the Vine Street bridge and marijuana legislation, highlighted Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

If approved by the council at its Dec. 11 meeting, South Berwick’s would endorse a designation to have the York River and its tributaries declared a federal Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The town of Kittery approved the designation at its Nov. 26 Town Council meeting.

The federal designation would enable local communities bordering the river to access federal funding to protect and maintain the river and its watershed for purposes such as recreation, fisheries, and water quality.

Jean Demetracopoulos, South Berwick delegate to the York River Study Commission, also emphasized that towns which approve the federal status will retain local control over their sections of the river.

Added Demetracopoulos, “The goal is to hand off the river to the next generation in the same condition as it is today.”

Earlier in the meeting, there was spirited discussion on how to move forward regarding municipal policies on medical and recreational marijuana.

Councilors agreed with member Abigail Kemble’s suggestion to create an ad hoc committee to study the impact of recreational marijuana sales, similar to efforts undertaken by the neighboring town of Eliot.

Such a measure would then allow the town to “start a more productive conversation on medical marijuana,” stated Kemble.

Councilor Russell Abell agreed, adding: “We should make sure that all ordinances and regulations are up to date so medical

Article source: http://www.fosters.com/news/20181127/south-berwick-reviews-york-river-study

South Berwick reviews York River study – seacoastonline.com

November 28th, 2018

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine Approval of the first reading of a York River study, plus debate on the Vine Street bridge and marijuana legislation, highlighted Tuesdays Town Council meeting.

If approved by the council at its Dec. 11 meeting, South Berwicks would endorse a designation to have the York River and its tributaries declared a federal Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The town of Kittery approved the designation at its Nov. 26 Town Council meeting.

The federal designation would enable local communities bordering the river to access federal funding to protect and maintain the river and its watershed for purposes such as recreation, fisheries, and water quality.

Jean Demetracopoulos, South Berwick delegate to the York River Study Commission, also emphasized that towns which approve the federal status will retain local control over their sections of the river.

Added Demetracopoulos, The goal is to hand off the river to the next generation in the same condition as it is today.

Earlier in the meeting, there was spirited discussion on how to move forward regarding municipal policies on medical and recreational marijuana.

Councilors agreed with member Abigail Kembles suggestion to create an ad hoc committee to study the impact of recreational marijuana sales, similar to efforts undertaken by the neighboring town of Eliot.

Such a measure would then allow the town to start a more productive conversation on medical marijuana, stated Kemble.

Councilor Russell Abell agreed, adding: We should make sure that all ordinances and regulations are up to date so medical

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20181127/south-berwick-reviews-york-river-study

Machias medical marijuana ordinance headed for town vote

November 27th, 2018

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

More than 40 people turned out for a Machias public hearing on Monday, Nov. 19 to learn about the town’s proposal for governing medical marijuana. 

Article source: http://machiasnews.com/machias-medical-marijuana-ordinance-headed-town-vote

Activists hang banners calling for safe injection site in Maine’s largest city

November 27th, 2018

Nina Shamus and Glenn Simpson of Overdose Prevention Sites hang a banner from the Temple Street parking garage in Portland on Friday. “There’s a lot of awareness that needs to be raised and lot of minds that need to be changed,” said Portland OPS member Lizzy Handschy. SHAWN PATRICK OUELLETTE/Portland Press Herald

Activists on Friday hung banners on an interstate overpass and a downtown parking garage in support of opening a place where people can safely inject drugs under medical supervision in Maine’s largest city.

Safe injection sites are illegal under federal law and the U.S. Department of Justice has signaled that it will take action against communities that allow such facilities to operate. But advocates say they are proven to save lives, reduce the spread of diseases and help connect people to treatment and recovery services. The banner drop is part of a public awareness campaign by proponents.

“The message we’re trying to get out is accessing services and health care is a constant struggle for people who use drugs and we really think an overdose prevention site is … needed in Portland,” said Portland resident Lizzy Handschy, who is part of the Portland OPS – or Overdose Prevention Site – group, which she said has between 10 and 20 members. “There are way too many overdose deaths in our community.”

There were 180 overdose deaths in Maine through June 30, down just slightly from the 185 drug-related deaths reported for the same period

Article source: https://www.journaltribune.com/articles/stateregional/activists-hang-banners-calling-for-safe-injection-site-in-maines-largest-city/

Gardiner officials consider cutting streetlight costs

November 27th, 2018

Gardiner elected officials are expected to consider on Wednesday a proposal to take over the city’s streetlights and converting them to energy-efficient LED versions.

Earlier this month, Augusta city officials said they are considering buying the city’s streetlights from Central Maine Power and converting them to LED lights. The city identified Affinity LED Lighting of Dover, New Hampshire, through a request-for-proposals process, as the vendor they would use for the lights.

Affinity, in turn, has extended an offer for its services to municipalities in region, including Gardiner with its 500 sodium street lights.

With the proposal comes an estimated cost of nearly $300,000 to pay for the acquisition of the lights from CMP, as well as the conversion; it probably would be paid for with bonds. The annual savings would be about $70,000.

The cost of operating Gardiner’s streetlights now is calculated to be a little more than $86,000 each year. After the conversion, the annual cost would be a little more than $10,000.

Tony LaPlante, Gardiner public works director, said the effect of the conversion would be significant.

“The payback is about three years,” he said. “The lights would use less electricity. Plus, we would own (them) and not be leasing them.”

In its proposal to Gardiner, Affinity estimates the conversion would result in about a two-thirds decrease in the use of electricity — and a related drop in the carbon dioxide emissions from generating that electricity.

“The technology has improved,” LaPlante said, “and I think that the product that

Article source: https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/11/26/gardiner-officials-consider-cutting-streetlight-costs/