Consultants jockey for contract to write rules for Maine’s marijuana market

November 12th, 2018 by admin No comments »

Five companies are vying to become Maine’s state marijuana consultant, including two that helped Colorado and Washington state create their adult-use programs.

The state Department of Administrative and Financial Services announced Friday that the applicants for the Maine consulting job are:

• Barclay Damon, a New York law firm that recently launched a cannabis division and represents several medical cannabis businesses

• BOTEC Analysis, a Los Angeles-based firm that helped Washington state launch its adult-use program in 2013

• Guardian Labs, a New Orleans company made up of an Austin entrepreneur, a biology professor with a hemp specialty and an Illinois cannabis-testing lab

• Freedman Koski, a Denver firm whose principals are the former Colorado regulators who launched the first adult-use cannabis market in the U.S.

• Zoned Properties Inc., an Arizona-based property developer that specializes in cannabis projects and helps municipalities write zoning regulations.

No Maine company applied for the consulting job. A consulting firm run by Jacques Santucci, the husband of the chief executive officer of Wellness Connection of Maine, which operates four of Maine’s eight licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, did not apply, although it had asked the state if Santucci’s relationship to Wellness would disqualify his company from being hired.

The state identified the applicants that had submitted completed proposals by Thursday’s deadline, but did not release the contents of their proposals, which will remain confidential until next month, after Maine has scored the applications, selected a consultant and secured a contract. A selection team will assess and score the proposals based on qualifications

Article source: https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/11/09/cannabis-consultants-jockey-for-state-contract/

Bar Harbor lawyer asks for recount in a close probate judge election

November 11th, 2018 by admin No comments »
Kevin Bennett | BDN

A Bar Harbor attorney is asking for a recount in an election in which she came within 1 percent of unseating the incumbent Hancock County probate judge.

Lynne Williams, a Democrat, received 13,668 votes in Tuesday’s election, which is 235 fewer votes than Will Blaisdell, a Republican who has held the part-time elected position since 2014. Between the two candidates, 27,571 votes were cast in the race, according to unofficial results submitted to the BDN.

The 235-vote difference represents a 0.8 percent gap in the combined vote totals for each candidate.

Eliot voters open the door to recreational pot sales

November 10th, 2018 by admin No comments »
Ioanna Raptis | Portsmouth Herald

ELIOT, Maine — Voters approved by non-binding referendum Tuesday the creation of licensing standards for the sales of adult recreational marijuana. State legislation allows recreational retail stores in towns that create licensing standards. Without the creation of those standards, a town would automatically not allow retail marijuana stores.

The non-binding question said retail sales would be in the commercial/industrial district. The vote was 1,742 yes, 1,163 no.

In anticipation of creating standards for retail marijuana sales the Select Board has created an ad hoc Adult Use Recreational Cannabis Committee.

[Click here for town-by-town results from York County]

Voters endorsed the York River Study Committee’s recommendation to seek Partnership Wild and Scenic River designation, by the U.S. Congress, for the York River and its tributaries. This would provide financial services, technical assistance and a local structure to best enable implementation of the York River Watershed Stewardship Plan for Eliot, York, Kittery

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/07/news/york/eliot-voters-open-the-door-to-recreational-pot-sales/

Here’s who’s replacing Paul LePage as Maine’s governor

November 10th, 2018 by admin No comments »

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Democrat Janet Mills won the race to succeed firebrand GOP Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to serve as Maine’s chief executive.

The former lawmaker was set to greet patrons at Becky’s Diner in Portland Wednesday morning following her Tuesday victory over Republican businessman Shawn Moody and independent state treasurer Terry Hayes.

Mills pledged to usher in an era of “open doors” and collaboration in state government. She also vowed to change the tone after eight years of LePage’s combative style, and to fight Trump administration policies on environmental, immigration and welfare.

“Hope has been severely challenged in the last few years — both here in Maine and across the country,” she said Tuesday. “Challenged by the politics of cynicism, of fear, of distrust, of anger.”

When asked during the campaign about the significance of her gubernatorial run as a woman, Mills instead often stressed her own personal experience as a lawmaker and prosecutor. But she said Tuesday that she hopes her win sends a message “to the women and girls of Maine of any age.”

“There is no obstacle you cannot overcome,” she said. “None.”

The gubernatorial race resulted in an advertising blitz, and liberal out-of-state groups outspent Republicans on attack ads on behalf of Mills. Mills spent roughly $3 million and outside groups spent at least $7.7 million to boost her, while total spending for Moody’s campaign was $5.8 million, according to

Article source: https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2018/11/07/janet-mills-maine-governor

Kennebunkport voters approve moratorium on medical marijuana …

November 10th, 2018 by admin No comments »
Steven Senne | AP

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Voter turnout was roughly 80 percent with residents supporting all five local referendum questions at the polls Tuesday.

In a town where voter turnout is always above the state average, a steady stream of residents arrived at Village Fire Station all day, according to Town Clerk Tracey O’Roak. She said the turnout included over 700 absentee ballots turned in before Tuesday.

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“It was steady all day, we usually have a lull in the afternoon, but we never had that, it was constant,” O’Roak said.

Question 1 asked voters to approve a temporary moratorium on retail medical marijuana storefronts in town. Residents voted 1,254 in favor and 965 against. The moratorium will be in effect for 180 days, giving the town time to study the effect on public safety and town resources, and, if necessary, prepare ordinance provisions that would govern retail

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/08/news/york/kennebunkport-voters-approve-moratorium-on-medical-marijuana-stores/

Kennebunkport voters approve moratorium on medical marijuana stores

November 10th, 2018 by admin No comments »
Steven Senne | AP

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Voter turnout was roughly 80 percent with residents supporting all five local referendum questions at the polls Tuesday.

In a town where voter turnout is always above the state average, a steady stream of residents arrived at Village Fire Station all day, according to Town Clerk Tracey O’Roak. She said the turnout included over 700 absentee ballots turned in before Tuesday.

[Subscribe to our free morning newsletter and get the latest headlines in your inbox]

“It was steady all day, we usually have a lull in the afternoon, but we never had that, it was constant,” O’Roak said.

Question 1 asked voters to approve a temporary moratorium on retail medical marijuana storefronts in town. Residents voted 1,254 in favor and 965 against. The moratorium will be in effect for 180 days, giving the town time to study the effect on public safety and town resources, and, if necessary, prepare ordinance provisions that would govern retail

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/08/news/york/kennebunkport-voters-approve-moratorium-on-medical-marijuana-stores/

Consultants jockey for contract to write rules for Maine’s marijuana market

November 9th, 2018 by admin No comments »

Five companies are vying to become Maine’s state marijuana consultant, including two that helped Colorado and Washington state create their adult-use programs.

The state Department of Administrative and Financial Services announced Friday that the applicants for the Maine consulting job are:

• Barclay Damon, a New York law firm that recently launched a cannabis division and represents several medical cannabis businesses

• BOTEC Analysis, a Los Angeles-based firm that helped Washington state launch its adult-use program in 2013

• Guardian Labs, a New Orleans company made up of an Austin entrepreneur, a biology professor with a hemp specialty and an Illinois cannabis-testing lab

• Freedman Koski, a Denver firm whose principals are the former Colorado regulators who launched the first adult-use cannabis market in the U.S.

• Zoned Properties Inc., an Arizona-based property developer that specializes in cannabis projects and helps municipalities write zoning regulations.

No Maine company applied for the consulting job. A consulting firm run by Jacques Santucci, the husband of the chief executive officer of Wellness Connection of Maine, which operates four of Maine’s eight licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, did not apply, although it had asked the state if Santucci’s relationship to Wellness would disqualify his company from being hired.

The state identified the applicants that had submitted completed proposals by Thursday’s deadline, but did not release the contents of their proposals, which will remain confidential until next month, after Maine has scored the applications, selected a consultant and secured a contract. A selection team will assess and score the proposals based on qualifications

Article source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/11/09/cannabis-consultants-jockey-for-state-contract/

In first day as Maine governor-elect, Mills vows to enact Medicaid expansion

November 9th, 2018 by admin No comments »
Robert F. Bukaty | AP

PORTLAND, Maine — Democrat Janet Mills said Wednesday that her top priorities as Maine’s next governor will be expanding Medicaid as voters demanded in 2017, lowering health insurance premiums and tackling the opioid crisis that has claimed hundreds of lives.

Just hours after claiming victory over Republican businessman Shawn Moody and independent state treasurer Terry Hayes, Mills paid a visit to a waterfront diner where she shook voters’ hands and thanked them for their support.

Fulfilling her priorities will be easier, she said, because Democrats won control of the Maine Senate and widened their majority in the House. It’ll be the first time since 2010, when Republican Gov. Paul LePage was elected to his first term, that one party has control of both the Blaine House and the Statehouse.

[Janet Mills wins race to succeed LePage as Maine’s next governor]

She said a Democratic-controlled Legislature will

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/07/politics/in-first-day-as-maine-governor-elect-mills-vows-to-enact-medicaid-expansion/

Bridgton, Standish voters OK local items

November 9th, 2018 by admin No comments »

BRIDGTON — Bridgton voters approved all six referendum questions set before them Nov. 6. 

In Question 1, voters approved 1,350 to 1,183 a 180-day moratorium on the siting, operation or licensing of any medical marijuana storefronts in town. 

A sign ordinance focused on the effective and safe use of signs passed 1,458 to 1,008. The goal of the ordinance is to promote the safety and comfort of residents, reduce distractions and obstructions from signs and ensure that signs adequately identify local businesses and services, among other goals.

The Fire Protection and Life Safety Ordinance, which establishes fire protection measures and ensures the protection and safety of firefighters against building collapse, among other measures, was approved 1,684 to 746. 

Voters also voted 1,806 to 749 to expand the town’s wastewater system in order to increase capacity, improve water quality and promote economic growth. The project will be funded through state and federal grants as well as general obligation bonds or notes, which are not to exceed $13,528,000. 

Bridgton voters authorized 1,370 to 871 the issuing of general obligation bonds to renovate and improve the upper portion of Main Street from Pondicherry Square to the Monument. The work will include reconstructing sidewalks, installing energy efficient lighting and traffic safety measures and providing an appealing streetscape. The bonds cannot exceed a principal outstanding amount of $2,936,320.

Residents approved Question 6, which is identical to Question 5 except the bonds will be authorized to a local bank or to the Maine Municipal Bond Bank in a principal outstanding amount not

Article source: http://news.keepmecurrent.com/bridgton-standish-voters-ok-local-items/

Jury selection begins in southern Aroostook murder case

November 9th, 2018 by admin No comments »
Jen Lynds | The County

HOULTON, Maine — Jury selection began Thursday in the case against a Massachusetts man accused of murder in connection with the killing of an Oakfield man in an apparent drug-related robbery nearly two years ago.

Marcus Asante, 23, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, has been charged with murder and robbery in connection with the fatal shooting of Douglas Morin Jr., 31, on Oct. 16, 2016. Two other individuals, Tia Leigh Ludwick, 24, and Darin Goulding, 32, both of Leominster, Massachusetts, were charged with the same crimes, according to court records.

Goulding pleaded guilty in February to robbery in exchange for the state dismissing the murder charge if he agreed to testify against Asante. Prosecutors allege that Asante is the one who pulled the trigger. After Ludwick also pleaded guilty to the crimes, a judge sentenced her in April to 17 years in prison. Morin was Ludwick’s cousin.

Jury selection for Asante’s trial is expected to continue into Friday with

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2018/11/08/news/aroostook/jury-selection-begins-in-southern-aroostook-murder-case/