Recent legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in Maine has resulted in a stampede of those who want a stake in the state’s booming marijuana market. The state’s Office of Marijuana Policy is charged with regulating this market. Among its many statutes is one that allows people to grow up to 30 mature marijuana plants, plus numerous immature plants and seedlings, indoors or outdoors. There is no stipulation about how close cannabis crops can be to a neighboring properties or residences. Thus, as is in my case, my neighbor has greenhouse full of mature marijuana plants and several more outside of greenhouse, within 50 feet of my backyard.

Little did I know when I voted for marijuana legalization that the plants emit a noxious odor, especially as they approach harvest in the fall. Their cultivator also smokes his product daily in the backyard year round, so I am subjected to its stench throughout the year. I am advocating for Winthrop’s Town Council, which is developing a marijuana ordinance for the town, to include limits on proximity to neighboring residences and the number of plants cultivators can grow outdoors within the town’s rural zones.

Review of the proposed ordinance is on the council’s agenda at its regular meeting on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., which is open to the public. This is an opportunity for Winthrop residents who don’t want to be the victim of a living situation such as mine to have a say about how the cultivation and sale of marijuana will be regulated in our town.

Interested and concerned citizens can review the proposed marijuana ordinance at winthropmaine.org and then attend the meeting on Sept. 13. It may be too late for me, but it might not be for you.

 

Judy Yeaton

Winthrop

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