Councilors adopt medical marijuana rules

December 13th, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

LEWISTON — There’s a difference between growing medical marijuana for yourself and growing it for other people, city councilors said Tuesday night.

“And I think that given our housing stock, we have a duty to regulate those larger operations,” Councilor Mark Cayer said.

Councilors voted 5-0 over the objections of the Maine Civil Liberties Union to approve a pair of ordinances aimed at regulating medical marijuana growing and distributing operations.

Alysia Melnick, public policy counsel for the Maine Civil Liberties Union, said state rules regulating sellers of medical marijuana are more than adequate. They might even be too strict.

“We’re already concerned about state regulations,” Melnick said. “So now we’re doubly concerned about municipalities layering more regulations on groups that are acting in a law-abiding manner.”

Voters approved the sale of medical marijuana in November 2009, but the city has since had a moratorium in place. That moratorium, which keeps dispensaries out, is due to expire in January.

Auburn Plaza, across the river on Center Street, will be home to one of eight medical marijuana dispensaries approved by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The dispensary, Remedy Compassion, is tentatively set to open this month. It will be the only one serving the state’s Zone 3, which includes Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties.

Lewiston’s new rules would limit all distributors to industrial, commercial business, office service and urban enterprise zones of the city. It would also keep them away from churches and child care facilities and would mandate background checks for officers, board members and employees.


Article source: