It’s been nearly two years since voters approved the sale and use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients in Maine.

Since that time, licenses to operate dispensaries have been awarded to eight health districts across the state, including Hallowell.

As the city’s mayor, I have been working with state and local law enforcement, along with Becky DeKeuster, executive director of the Wellness Connection of Maine, the non-profit that will operate the Hallowell dispensary, to ensure that all regulations have been met and that our community will be protected.

I understand that some people question the merit of medical marijuana and others question the wisdom of locating a dispensary within our city limits.

I want to assure residents that after many meetings, I am confident that this will be a professionally operated medical facility. I believe this dispensary and its professionally trained staff will serve its patients, who suffer from chronic or terminal illnesses, with great care and respect.

DeKeuster has assured me that Wellness Connection of Maine will operate in compliance with the letter and the spirit of Maine’s medical marijuana laws and that strict security measures are in place.

We all know Hallowell friends and neighbors who are dealing with cancer, fibromyalgia and other health conditions. These citizens — as well as people from our surrounding communities — will seek assistance at this facility. I hope that this dispensary is a place where they find relief for their pain and suffering.

Charlotte Warren, mayor

Hallowell