Paris pot farmer’s case pushed to October

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PARIS — A prosecutor for the Maine Attorney General’s Office said evidence regarding a medical marijuana grower on King Hill Road will not be presented to a grand jury until October, more than a year after $500,000 of his crop was seized in a police raid.

The caregiver is not being identified by the Sun Journal because he has not been charged with a crime. 

David Fisher, the assistant attorney general prosecuting drug-related crimes for Oxford, Androscoggin and Franklin counties, was scheduled to present evidence to an Oxford County grand jury on Friday, after attempts to reach a settlement failed. 

However, the case was postponed two months because the caregiver’s attorney, Gregory Braun, has requested the session be recorded and the lead investigator in the case, Paris Police Department’s Sgt. Jeffrey Lange, is on vacation.

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Fisher said he is still open to the idea of negotiating an agreement. 

The caregiver is said to face multiple felony marijuana cultivation and trafficking charges after police said they discovered an extensive growing operation on King Hill Road last September. 

Though the person was legally licensed to grow marijuana for patients, police, after consulting with regulators at the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, found that just three of the 15 patients represented had been registered with the state. 

For the past 11 months the case has been discussed behind closed doors. Both sides attributed the delay to confusion over the complexity of the state’s medical marijuana laws.

Advocates and police agencies say only gross overages or other related illegal activity represent a crime. Less serious infractions can be handled by state regulators and may result in license revocation. 

Though police said they seized 173 plants and 18 pounds of marijuana in excess of what the caregiver was licensed to grow, Fisher said previously that a part of the law detailing the amount of unprepared marijuana in possession at any point has complicated proceedings. 

Police burned the crop in July, saying it had spoiled and presented a health hazard.

ccrosby@sunmediagroup.net 

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