FAIRFIELD — A marijuana caregiver was summoned on drug charges Friday afternoon more than a month after police raided his residence and allegedly found more than a dozen pounds of marijuana there.

Zachary Ricker, 22, of Benton, was charged with unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, a Class C felony, and unlawfully furnishing a scheduled drug, a Class D misdemeanor.

Ricker previously lived at 29 High St. in Fairfield, where he also worked as a caregiver growing medical marijuana.

Residents of the neighborhood in Fairfield had previously complained to the Town Council that Ricker’s work brought increased traffic and noise to the area. Some also said they didn’t feel comfortable living near where marijuana was being cultivated.

However, the town manager said it was hard to enact an ordinance to restrict caregivers, as they aren’t technically businesses.

On Sept. 3, Fairfield police allegedly found more than 17 pounds of processed marijuana in Ricker’s residence, Capt. Paul St. Amand said.

While marijuana is still illegal under federal law, Maine allows people to use it for qualified medical purposes. Under state law, caregivers can only assist up to five qualifying patients at a time, or six if they are growing for themselves as well, and can only possess up to 2.5 ounces of prepared marijuana for each qualifying patient along with an additional “incidental” amount of marijuana.

If a caregiver were to be cultivating for five patients, they could have up to 12.5 ounces, which is less than 1 pound of prepared marijuana, along with an incidental amount.

A statewide referendum question on the Nov. 8 ballot proposes to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Maine, allowing adults 21 and older to possess up to 2½ ounces of cannabis, grow their own plants and buy marijuana from licensed retail stores. The proposal also allows marijuana social clubs in municipalities that approve them and places a 10 percent tax on marijuana sales.

St. Amand said Ricker did not admit to selling the marijuana for recreational use or other illegal activities.

The police raid was the result of a more than six-month-long investigation that started in February when a person called and complained about the amount of traffic around the house. Police conducted surveillance and allegedly confirmed that there was an unusual amount of traffic before executing the search warrant.

St. Amand said he believes Ricker moved out of Fairfield shortly after the raid was conducted.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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