Northern Maine marijuana dispensary close to resolving zoning problems with …

January 5th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A municipality and northern Maine’s only state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary are one step closer to an agreement granting the dispensary the necessary business zoning permits to operate in the town.

The Frenchville planning board denied a permit to Safe Alternatives Medical Marijuana Dispensary last May based on several incomplete sections of the dispensary’s permit application, including failure to pay the $500 permit fee, failure to obtain the proper boundary line variance and failure to secure an approved cultivation facility inspection by the town’s code enforcement officer.

Since then, Safe Alternatives has been operating in Frenchville under state permits while it and the town sought legal mediation, which came together last week, according to Town Manager Casey Cote.

“The town of Frenchville and Safe Alternatives participated in mediation in an effort to resolve differences and avoid a long and expensive legal proceeding,” Cote said in a statement she released Friday. “A contingent agreement was reached pending approvals by the town.”

The Frenchville Board of Selectmen meets Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. to vote on the mediated agreement, Cote said.

“This was really nothing more than a zoning matter,” said Jonathan Berry, Safe Alternative attorney of the Portland firm Berry and Dion. “Nothing has really changed. The town has a legitimate interest, and Safe Alternatives has business interests they would like to protect.”

Berry said the mediation meetings between representatives of Safe Alternatives and the town were very productive, adding, “I think we put together a

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