Medical marijuana a fast growing cottage industry in Maine

September 7th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

York residents have gone to court to try to shut down a medical marijuana growing facility in their neighborhood, the latest conflict to raise questions about oversight of the rapidly growing industry.

Questions about whether the growing facility used by nine small-scale growers is, or should be, allowed has led to complaints from local officials that the state’s medical marijuana law is ambiguous. It is the latest dispute to draw attention to the difficulty that community officials have dealing with complaints about pot growing facilities over which they have no regulatory authority.

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A warehouse on White Birch Lane in York, Maine, where five people are growing medical marijuana.

While some are looking to the state to clarify the rules, York town officials have proposed zoning changes related to marijuana that residents will vote on in November.

The appeal filed last week by neighbors asks a York County Superior Court judge to overturn the York Zoning Board. The local board ruled that property owner Robert Grant is not violating town ordinances by allowing nine state-licensed caregivers to grow medical marijuana in separate units in his warehouse at 17 White Birch Lane.

State law bans the small-scale caregivers from collaborating or forming collectives for larger scale cultivation or distribution. But it does not prohibit multiple caregivers from growing marijuana in the same commercial facilities.

Neighbors, who say the operation has created unpleasant living conditions and public safety issues, say they believe the facility is an illegal collective. The property owner denies it. Town officials

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