Voters at town meeting Saturday discussed the future of marijuana cultivation. Sun Journal/Jon Bolduc

SUMNER — Whether to allow farm-scale marijuana cultivation was the big topic at the town meeting Saturday.

When marijuana was legalized statewide, townspeople voted against dispensaries and commercial establishments. The town does not have an ordinance allowing, or forbidding, large-scale cultivation.

According to information provided by the Maine Municipal Association, adults are allowed to use and possess marijuana for recreational uses, and can grow up to three mature plants. However, towns can decide whether to allow adult-use marijuana establishments and dispensaries. If a town doesn’t have a specific ordinance in place, the default stance is prohibition.

Speaking at town meeting Saturday, resident Jonathan Leavitt said that the passing of a cultivation ordinance could “make or break” small farms that might rely on the crop for their livelihood. Issues raised by residents at the meeting included safety, and whether farmers would come to Sumner with the intent of opening marijuana growing operations.

Throughout the meeting, Selectman Edwin Hinshaw encouraged voters to leave behind comments and questions in a box, so the board could start reading through them and formulate a plan on how to proceed with the issue.

In other business, voters approved a $1.32 million municipal budget, including $322,853 for winter road maintenance, $213,245 for administration and $210,000 for road and bridge maintenance. Votes appropriated $432,500 from the town’s anticipated revenue to decrease 2019-20 taxes.

 

 


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