Poland selectmen agree to form Recreational Marijuana Use Committee

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POLAND — Selectmen agreed Tuesday to form a seven-member Recreational Marijuana Use Committee by their Aug. 21 meeting.

The committee is to draft an ordinance spelling out zoning, land use and other regulations for recreational marijuana facilities.

The panel will include two selectmen, one planning board member, a member from the Community and Economic Development Committee and three residents.  

Selectmen Suzette Moulton and Joseph Cimino cited the need to include town officials on the committee.

“There are so many components to this … and I think we should have some town officials involved … some of our residents should be involved, and I still am going to stand by I still think somebody from law enforcement to provide insight,” Moulton said.

Cimino said, “Law enforcement will send out a general directive,” but he underlined the need to do something by October. “We need to pick out (a) zone or zones. You’re not going to allow this everywhere in town I’m sure.”

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Resident Nicholas Morton from Maine Grown, a medical marijuana farm in Poland that produces organically grown cannabis, applied to serve on the committee.

“I want to take all the mystery out of it, bring my team” comprised of several lawyers and lobbyists and additional experts from around the area, he said.

He added, “I’ve been working on this since 2008 very quietly. It’s a personal project. I’ve worked with the (Federal Drug Administration), the (Drug Enforcement Administration) and the Department of Higher Learning.  

“The one thing we need is synchronicity … I want to help, I want to participate,” Morton said.

Selectmen agreed that a seven-member committee would work more smoothly than a larger group, as long residents can attend and offer their opinions on the matter.

In other business, land-use changes and amendments to the tax-increment financing ordinance will headline a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Town Hall.  

Town Manager Matthew Garside said the Planning Board wants to adopt several changes to the Comprehensive Land Use Code.

He said the TIF amendments will include three items: increase the credit enhancement agreement authority of the Board of Selectmen; take advantage of possible options the state allows towns to use; and correct some mapping errors discovered by the Geographic Information System.

Garside said he and state Rep. Jessica L. Fay, D-Raymond, attended a meeting at the Maine Department of Transportation regarding safety improvements on Route 11 at its intersection with North Raymond and White Oak Hill roads. The improvements will include traffic signs, clearing bushes and trees to enhance visibility, and better line stripping and stops. No time frame for starting the work was given.

In other issues, selectmen will get estimates for installing LED lights in the Town Office, and they approved a lease agreement with Pine Grove Cemetery to use trails and roads owned by cemetery for the Waterhouse Brook Trail.

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