FARMINGTON — Selectmen reviewed the first draft of a proposed town ordinance on recreational marijuana businesses Tuesday.

The Planning Board reviewed the draft with Code Enforcement Officer J. Stevens Kaiser last week.

Town of Farmington Adult Use Marijuana Stores, Cultivation Facilities, Manufacturing Facilities and Testing Facilities Ordinance is a starting point for the town to work on. Nothing is set in stone, Kaiser said.

Kaiser anticipates the Planning and Zoning boards will work on the draft over the winter and could bring it back to selectmen for hearings and a potential vote at the March town meeting.  

Among the regulations, the draft considers where and how many potential stores and cultivation facilities the town will allow. 

The ordinance does not govern any aspects of medical marijuana use or sales because these are regulated by the state under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, he said.  

The draft does prohibit the sale of medical use and recreational use marijuana within the same premises.

Some highlights of the draft, which Kaiser noted for the board, include:

• No adult marijuana social clubs will be allowed within the town.

• Licenses/permits must be obtained from the state and the town. As a starting point for discussion, the draft limits the number to five town permits/licenses in each of the four categories: stores, cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities.

• Applicants with at least two years’ experience cultivating medical marijuana, who are registered with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and who are registered caregivers, will be given first priority for town licensing.

• All adult-use marijuana stores must have a permanent location. No vending machines or “drive-up” window sales allowed.

• Adult-use marijuana businesses will only be allowed in town zones identified as General Purpose and Village District.

• They cannot operate within 1,000 feet of a public or private school; within 500 feet of the University of Maine at Farmington, churches, property used for licensed day care, recreational areas used by children up to 18 years or areas designated as municipal “safe zones” by state law.

• Each application submitted requires a $250 fee. Fees for licensing and permitting are also outlined within the draft.

Audience member Robert Sirois asked whether the 1,000 feet was measured from property lines or from door to door. Selectmen agreed this needed to be clarified.

If the governor should veto the marijuana regulatory bill passed Monday by the House and Senate, audience members Luke Sirois and David Horn said they were optimistic the matter would be diligently worked on early next year as the state moratorium to delay implementation of some sections of the Marijuana Legalization Act ends in February 2018. They foresee the state accepting license applications by this time next year.

The ordinance could be adopted and amended later to comply with any changes in state regulations, Town Manager Richard Davis said.

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Farmington Draft Recreational Marijuana Ordinance (Metrocreative Images)

Town of Farmington (File Photo)

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