Edgecomb considers marijuana options

Posted:  Monday, October 8, 2018 - 8:15am

Along with other towns, Edgecomb is considering its options for implementing the recreational marijuana law voters approved in 2016. The town’s ordinance review committee discussed it Oct. 4. Emergency legislation to delay the law's implementation expired in February, leaving towns to decide if and how they will move forward when the state’s rules become final.

Rebecca Graham briefed fellow ordinance review committee members after she attended the Maine Municipal Association’s convention. A panel there provided information about the approaches adopted by other towns concerning medical and non-medical marijuana.

Among the concerns for Edgecomb are enforcement, site cleanup, and security. According to information Graham shared, odor is also a significant problem when cultivating the plants so it is recommended cultivation take place in buildings with carbon air scrubbers.

Some towns are adopting the same restrictions for marijuana facilities as they have for alcohol, so provisions address proximity to schools and churches, according to Graham. Other towns treat CBD as an industrial chemical, requiring setbacks and geographic limits.

Since the Maine law permits cultivation of plants by adults on their own property or on someone else’s, with the owner’s permission, Edgecomb would also need to address a “community grow," Graham said. An ordinance would be needed that prevents multiple adults from cultivating their plants on another property.

Graham reported the towns in the panel discussion suggested towns might want to do nothing. The law provides that towns wishing to permit the sale of marijuana will need to “opt in” with sales regulations. Towns that do not want marijuana sales would not create regulations.

Committee member David Nutt asked if Edgecomb wished to have marijuana sales or not. Any ordinances would take a town vote. The question of placing a moratorium on marijuana sales was raised. Graham will contact MMA to clarify the town’s options and will report back at a later meeting.