FARMINGTON — Neither medical nor recreational marijuana could be sold in the downtown historic district, and such businesses would also be tightly regulated in other places downtown, according to the most recent version of a proposed marijuana ordinance reviewed by the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night.

The latest version of the Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Stores, Cultivation Facilities, Manufacturing Facilities and Testing Facilities Ordinance, which is scheduled to go before voters at the Town Meeting on March 25, prohibits marijuana stores, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities in the downtown historic district.

The district includes Front Street, from around Depot Street to Park Street; Main Street, from Academy Street to Park Street; and Broadway, from High Street to Front Street.

The board had minimal discussion on the changes, which are the result of a public hearing last month where the Farmington Downtown Association expressed concerns about marijuana sales and business downtown.

“It satisfies me,” said Selectman Stephan Bunker of the changes to the ordinance. In other areas of the downtown business district, marijuana stores, manufacturing and testing facilities would only be allowed on a site-specific basis and would be subject to planning board review.

Marijuana businesses would not be allowed in downtown commercial or residential areas.

One resident, Erica Haywood, who operates a medical marijuana facility at 186 Main St., expressed concerns Tuesday about permitting fees that would be charged under the new ordinance and whether she would be allowed to transition her business to serve the recreational marijuana market.

“The amount of licensing fees I will need to pay in order to continue my existing small business, in the thousands, plus the thousands I will have to spend in order to comply with the standards provisions of this new town ordinance will put me out of business,” Haywood said in a letter she presented to the board Tuesday night.

The proposed permitting fee for a marijuana store or recreational manufacturing facility is $1,250. The cost of permits for cultivation facilities could be up to $15,000, depending on the size of the facility and number of plants.

Haywood also expressed concerns about not being able to serve pediatric patients under the ordinance, though members of the board and Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser said Haywood should be able to continue providing services to patients under age 21 who have medical marijuana patient cards.

In other news Tuesday, the board heard a presentation from Michael Forcillo, executive vice president of Redzone Wireless, LLC, who said the high-speed internet company recently installed a tower on Voter Hill Road, is providing high-speed internet to 2,353 households and is interested in expanding its business in the area.

The board also approved $2,263 from Central Maine Community College to be placed in the police department’s overtime account to pay for a training in collaboration with CMCC, a law enforcement class at Mt. Blue High School and $2,500 from the Healthy Community Coalition’s Rural Communities Response program to be used for opioid-related cases.

 

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
[email protected] 
Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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