PARIS — District Attorney Andrew Robinson told residents Monday night at a public hearing on a town recreational marijuana ordinance that “it won’t just be a free-for-all just because retail marijuana is legal.”

“There are still going to be some strict regulations on the state level, strict regulations with municipalities, and people still need to comply with the rules or they’re breaking the law,” Robinson said. “Determining who is out of compliance and how to pursue it is all new.”

Police Chief Hartley “Skip” Mowatt said, “Right now, we’re not sure who will be responsible for policing” the new law. “Once the state sets the law and the rules for the law, the task force will sit down and figure how how we’ll deal with it.”

Robinson said enforcement will likely “be similar to liquor enforcement. There will probably be an enforcement division of some kind for marijuana. There may be inspections at times, too, to make sure that establishments are abiding by the law.”

Code Enforcement Officer Kingston Brown said the purpose of the hearing was to discuss a retail marijuana ordinance that sets parameters on locations, licensing and operations. The ordinance covers retail marijuana cultivation facilities, stores, product manufacturing and testing facilities, he said. Marijuana social clubs will be “prohibited,” he said.

The ordinance states that any person who has been a resident of Maine for at least four years, is 21 years old or older, undergoes a background check, and has at least 10 percent ownership in the establishment, can apply for a license to operate a retail marijuana establishment.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Rusty Brackett asked whether any of the taxes going to the state will filter down to municipalities.

Brown said it was his understanding that all of the taxes are going to the state.

“The licensing fees are the only thing that the towns can receive from this,” he said. “Nothing comes down to the local level from the state.”

A few residents attended the hearing at the Paris Fire Station.

Another public hearing on the ordinance will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 21, at the Fire Station. Residents will vote on the ordinance Tuesday, June 12, according to Sarah Glynn of the town’s ad-hoc committee on recreational marijuana.

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Paris Code Enforcement Officer Kingston Brown stands at the podium during the public hearing on a retail marijuana ordinance Monday night at the Fire Station. Seated,  from left, are Police Chief Hartley “Skip” Mowatt, Selectman Gary Vaughn, ad-hoc marijuana committee member Sarah Glynn and District Attorney Andrew Robinson. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)


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