Franklin Countys First News

Selectmen review updated marijuana ordinance

FARMINGTON - After receiving feedback from a public hearing two weeks ago, Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser presented selectmen with a revised marijuana ordinance. It will go before residents at the March 25 town meeting.

Kaiser directed board members to several minor adjustments in the wording of the new ordinance, the biggest change being language that prohibits marijuana-related businesses in the historic district of downtown. That district includes the majority of Front Street, Broadway from High Street down and Main Street from Anson Street to Academy Street. All business associated with marijuana, whether it be medical or adult recreational, will be prohibited from the historic district, aside from several stores which will be grandfathered in.

"This is what we did to clean up after all the comments," Kaiser said of the changes.

The owner of LoveGrown Agricultural Research LLC and LoveGrown Caregiver Services, Education & Consulting, Erica Haywood, expressed concern to the board, pointing out that her consulting office located at 186 Main Street would most likely be negatively impacted by the proposed ordinance.

"If the tens of thousands of fees don't force me out, the newly required safe and 24 hour surveillance equipment will force me out. This ordinance is stomping all over my little tiny business," Haywood said.

If the ordinance passes, the permitting fee for a marijuana business would be $1,250. Permitting fees for other marijuana-related businesses such as cultivation, testing and processing facilities, could be up to $15,000 depending on number of plants being grown.

The board had few comments on the newly revised ordinate. It will go to the town for approval on March 25.

In other business, Executive Vice President of Redzone Wireless LLC Michael Forcillo presented an overview of the company's services as well as their plans to expand within the Farmington area.

Forcillo said that the wireless broadband network company currently brings services to 25 customers in Farmington, as well as 47 customers in Wilton and 61 in New Sharon. There were nearly 300 requests for more information, he said. Redzone eliminates the need for fiber connection, according to Forcillo, but operates on a wireless system with local towers connecting to homes that have a small box attached to them. They are getting close to providing internet for 50 percent of homes in the state, he said.

The Farmington Police Department was given approval by selectmen to accept $2,260 from Central Maine Community College and an additional $2,500 from Healthy Community Coalition- all earmarked for address opioid addiction issues in the region. The department plans on using the funds to hold a training for opioid investigations and to pay officers overtime.

"We are dealing with overdose cases that are generating a lot of overtime," Deputy Chief Shane Cote said.

Lastly, selectmen were updated on two trucks in the Farmington Fire Department fleet that are in need of attention: Engine 1, a 2002 pumper, and Engine 2, a 1995 pumper. Engine 2 was due to be replaced next year; Chief Terry Bell said the wear and tear on that vehicle is normal for a 24-year-old piece of equipment. However, an ongoing bug with the computer system in Engine 1 may take priority.

Selectmen directed Bell to gather more information, specifically on an estimated price to rebuild the systems on Engine 2 as well as the price, including any possible discounts, of replacing both engines at the same time.

"There's no easy answer," Selectman Stephan Bunker said.

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17 Responses »

  1. I realize that this is an entirely new type of business. But it seems to me that the permit fees are excessively high. I do understand the security requirements.

  2. Bud, the fees are in the law that passed a couple years ago, and if the market is as profitable as people are claiming it to be, then recouping any amount spent on licensing fees, will be made up in a few weeks or less, even at $20 a bag if a business can't generate $10,000 a month in sales, especially in this seemingly high demand market, I would call that business a bust.

  3. I' m curious, Are there any other small businesses in town that require a $100 per month fee and 24 hour surveillance systems to operate?

  4. I'm just curious about a few things. I know of a few other stores that carry CBD and hemp products. Do they pay extra fees as well?
    There's The Scentsy store that carries everything but THC products. They sell anything you need to consume it. I'm curious if they pay extra fees for that?

    @ Hrtlss Bstrd ......20 dollars a bag? Do you have any idea what medical marijuana cost ? Do your research.

  5. I doubt these businesses will be as profitable as is predicted. Everyone is growing it; it’s legal! In fact, I’ve found that I have to lock my door to keep people from leaving it on my kitchen table. The new zucchini!

  6. It's the new zucchini indeed.

  7. Poor Erica Haywood, but not really.

    No, she charges far more than $20 a bag. Street dealing will forever be the same mentality though, no matter the changes in appearance.

    As far as other business', and what they do or do not have to pay for; they do not sell the psychoactive substance known as THC. Believe it, or not, folks, but the increasing thefts across the state and country do not stem from the coveting (dare one claim, 'addiction') of non-psychoactive CBD, nor from paraphernalia and grow equipment. Therefore, precautionary measures are put on business' like Ms Haywood's. Maybe she should change her game plan, or maybe, if she really wants to say that she is providing a service, then she should be a true caregiver instead of acting like a retail outlet.

    There is more respect in Hospice and Elder care, to be honest.

  8. Is this fair, Demand dictates price. The medical marijuana market is fairly small, so the prices are high, and I just used $20 as an example, not as a definitive price. Use some tact before jumping down somebody throat.

  9. ‘Is this fair’, is your brain too smoked up to realize bags come in all sizes, even really small? As HB said, I understood he was using the number as an example.
    Anyway it’s easier and cheaper to buy it on the black market as we always did.....

  10. I liked your comment Laura, your right everyone is growing it now and I've had lots of people bring me a bag to "try out". They are proud of what they grow and want to share/show it off.

    Also Captain Planet is right about the black market being much cheaper. I have a marijuana med card and it cost on average about $200 for a 1 ounce bag from a medical dispensary. The going rate around here for a 1 ounce bag from your local farmer on the "black market" is on average $100. Granted some of the medical weed is very high THC content but how much do you want pay?

  11. To Whoa, What a World..

    I'm fairly sure you are one of the many that routinely make blanket statements on here to just cause turmoil. It seems to be due to an enjoyment you get from the back and forth debating, hurt feelings, name calling, wild accusations, and other foolishness that erupts from our area community members. It's really unfortunate that so many seem to get their daily entertainment from causing hatred and division.

    I'm not sure if it's worth my time or yours to comment on your statement. I doubt you will listen to me. However, I wanted to ask you to reflect on what you said: "Poor Erica Haywood, but not really" "Maybe she should change her game plan, or maybe, if she really wants to say that she is providing a service, then she should be a true caregiver instead of acting like a retail outlet".

    After decades of clinical research, multiple studies, and numerous testimonies about the medical benefit of cannabis, why would try to bring so much grief to a legitimate business that is trying to relieve horrible medical conditions? Retail pharmacies dispense opiates every day and this business is abiding by the laws in our State. It seems as if you doubt the medicinal benefits of marijuana and you are allowing that to take away your objectivity.

    Have you ever had a grand mal seizure? How about a petit mal seizure? Do you know how scary and damaging they can be to an epileptic? Have you ever even seen someone have a seizure? Have you ever had intense pain, nausea, and vomiting from Stage 4 cancer that you can't eat anything? Have you ever had to watch your family member try to push past it to live? How about someone that is slowly losing their vision to glaucoma? Have you been one of those people? Or, have you ever loved someone that was afraid they would lose the ability to see their grandchildren? Have you ever had to be a person that suffered with Alzheimers, PTSD, Crohn's Disease, or Multiple Sclerosis? Can you even imagine what it must feel like to struggle to live each day? How about to know that the medication that saves your life, extends your life, or just makes today bearable until tomorrow is not good enough for some people in the community? How hard it must be for them to know that the people trying to fight against that stigma, that are actively trying to pass legislature to help them, that are strong enough to stand up to personal attacks from community members in the local paper, are being so poorly attacked and ridiculed in an open forum.

  12. My question still remains unanswered. I didn't realize tact was a requirement for comments considering most of them lack it. My point is other stores downtown are already selling things that this new business will be paying large fees to do the same but adding more of a variety for customers. Of course it would require a different type of license but it surely shouldn't be as extreme as it states in this article. It doesn't seem fair if the other places aren't paying the same fees as these new places would be. Understand my question and why I'm asking if it's fair?

    Not just anyone can get things off the " black market " requires a medical marijuana card to purchase it. Not everyone wants to grow their own or find someone off the street the purchase marijuana or other products. Why make it difficult and pricey for the seller for something that is legal?

  13. @Reality

    Nice to meet you. Actually, I am one of "those people".....

    ..and as is further evident, you must be mistaken about your own accusations.

  14. @Whoa

    , and the horse you rode in on.

  15. @Zaphod

    Nice to meet you too. Though the only horses I see around, belong to the local Cowboys who forget what Century they are living in.

    Good day.

  16. Whoa certainly proved Reality's point quickly.
    I see that mood app. was no help at all with your issues.

    Try the app !!
    February 27, 2019 • 11:03 am
    Thank you for the advice but instead of decaf or deep breaths I think I'll install and start using the "mood" app to get a better handle on my issues here...
    I mean,,, why go actually talk to another live person when you can stay "connected"............ To a device.

    Us old farts see the world differently than the younger folks. This is nothing new. I see people passing each other without looking up from their device, they say they "are" communicating with a real person,, just someone who is at another location.

    I learned cursive because it was taught and value it for reasons that are mostly outdated and unnecessary.. My first experience without cursive was in the military where it was not allowed in critical log book entries.
    Without being nostalgic, I think we're ok without it.

    I don't like every change I see.
    Look up.

  17. BillyJoeBob, I am not nearly as young, or inexperienced as you think. You are welcome to try again though.