Franklin Countys First News

Selectmen work through proposed marijuana sales ordinance

The Farmington Selectboard

FARMINGTON - As part of an ongoing process to set parameters on the growth and sale of marijuana products, a public hearing was held Tuesday night to take a closer look at the proposed ordinance. Roughly 20 people attended the hearing, offering discussion and feedback for an ordinance which will go to voters at the March 25 town meeting.

"I find it to be a very thorough and effective ordinance being proposed. It has served as a model for other municipalities who have requested copies of it," Town Manager Richard Davis said.

The job of fine tuning regulations has been handed back to towns after legislation passed a set of basic rules for the sale of medicinal and recreational marijuana last year. Those in the crowd represented both sides of the argument: many in favor of the proposed ordinance, with a handful of residents speaking out against specific aspects of it.

Vice President of the Downtown Business Association Paul Mills reported that an association vote of 9-1 opposed the ordinance at hand and requested that the discussion be postponed due to late notice of the public hearing. The association is concerned about allowing marijuana sales specifically in the "historic" downtown area according to Mills, aside from a small number of businesses which would be grandfathered in. Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser said the ordinance essentially reflects that already, however, Mills said the wording could be clearer.

"If the intent is what Dick [Davis] says, then why not change the language to reflect so? Let's not be unambiguous about this so we don't get crowded into it," Mills said.

Selectmen agreed to tweaking the wording of the ordinance to more clearly state the restriction of marijuana growth and sales in the downtown business district, aside from medical stores that will be grandfathered in. Medical marijuana stores grandfathered in will not be allowed to transition to a recreational focus.

"It's essentially a business like any other business. It's finally coming into the light and I think the people involved are trying to follow the rules and do it right," Kaiser said.

In other updates, selectmen decided to add a warrant article that will allow voters to weigh in on the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line.

Selectman Scott Landry, who has been involved with the negotiating process, said that Central Maine Power has improved the package being offered to towns and Farmington could be looking at up to $10 million in benefits if the corridor is approved. Benefits would include University of Maine at Farmington scholarships, significant assistance with the broadband initiative and economic development funds.

CMP representative John Carroll will be attending the next Selectboard meeting on Tuesday Feb. 26 to answer questions; the meeting will be held at the Community Center on Middle Street to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

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14 Responses »

  1. Maine will not benefit, no matter what CMP has to offer!!

  2. 10 million in benefits huh?

    Why do I get the feeling that politicians are using the NO Corridor resistance to reap more rewards from CMP before the Public Utilities Commission pulls the plug on what a lot of us wouldn't sell?

    The only thing I'm beginning to like about politics is the next election.

  3. How many times has Farmington been promised high speed internet is coming soon? Multiple and 20 years we still do not have it. This Spanish company , which in my opinion does not care about us , will not deliver it either. I feel local officials should be extremely skeptical of these promises which could easily go unfulfilled with no repercussions to CMP. Lets face it, our government has been incapable of even ensuring our billing with CMP is correct, and we are suppose to trust them to hold this corporation accountable? I don't think so.

  4. You know what the other 7,613 residents of Farmington will say, "I had no idea what they were up to." and some will say "We voted for it." or the even dumber line "This is not the will of the people." In a town of 7,633 only 20 people show up, nobody can complain they don't like what goes on in Farmington. Same with town meetings,"Oh I have better things to do, like watch This is Us."

  5. Put the pot shop next to dunkin man. Blaze a fattie and get some snackies. Looking at the left side of the photo man those guys need to give it a try, so uptight man.

  6. I think an extremely important point for selectmen (from many towns) to take home is that they supported this thing early on with ONLY CMP's talking points and promises BEFORE their townspeople ever knew of it. As time goes on and people do wake up to it, they are overwhelmingly against it. There is simply no need for it in Maine and no need to bisect OUR North Maine Woods for CMP to get richer while disregarding their own customers. Now they'll have all of Massachusetts as customers. Wonder which lines will get fixed first after a storm?

  7. Wake up and smell the roses everyone. This is a DONE DEAL!!

    Janet Mills has endorsed this project. CMP has purchased the land and have all the required permits.

    I do not think there is any legal way to stop it from moving forward. This project can not be voted down.

  8. @Dulles I’m afraid you’re right. However our governor is there for four years and then she will be up for re-election and that’s when we can change things by VOTING her out.

  9. Why does umf get money out of this? It has nothing to do with them.

  10. THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL. Sorry for yelling, but that is what the other side wants you to think and they want you to give up. YES backroom sleazy negations had been going on without public input for a long time. Yes this is "how business has always been done" with payoffs and buyouts. Yes the governor has met with industry now we want her to meet with us.

    What we have going for us: The vast majority of people are solidly against this campaign; media and social media are our friends; the tide is turning as more and more businesses, organizations and citizens are speaking out, knowledgeably and passionately; our Governor does not make the decision but is still on the fence, at least publicly..I for one trust her to weigh in the will of the people; everyone knows that not only does CMP suck, they are arrogant about it. And it is really pissing people off, particularly when they are trading Maine's future, based on false pretenses and for foreign profit, for energy that Massachusetts wants when Massachusetts wouldn't negotiate with us for a natural gas line.
    How about this: CMP, try and suck less then come ask us to mortgage our future for shareholders from Qatar and Hydro Quebec.
    Janet Mills ask yourself this- what would Percival Baxter do? To some of us this region is as precious as Baxter State Park

  11. Thank You Darryl. I don't want to have to look and hear that crap every day. Also we love our home, land, community and the people around us.

  12. Taxpayer,

    Perhaps CMP is offering UMF scholarship money because they now offer degree programs in Outdoor Recreation Business and Environmental Sciences.

    Personally, if this Corridor is allowed to be created, the first thing UMF should do is hike those newly funded students up a Maine mountain so they can see the desecration that newly formed Corridor is going to create.

    Darryl and Mort, and all who oppose the Corridor, here is a quote by Henry David Thoreau who roamed on Katahdin with Percival Baxter, the 53rd governor of this great state.

    "the mission of men there seems to be, like so many demons, to drive the forest out of our country."

    I think they'd fight this project. Yes indeed.

  13. Farmington stands to make a ton of money by allowing recreational cannabis business to open and thrive here.

    As for CMP and the corridor, how about we make them fix the massive billing issues they have here before allowing them to carve into our lands?

    And broadband? Well I’ve had a cherry picker truck going up and down my block for two days stringing wire, they said it was fiber optics for the town.

    I did not know there was a meeting, I wish I could find a way to get notified electronically of these things.

  14. Thanks Terry. I intend to fight this crap all the way. It's just wrong.