FARMINGTON — Monday, June 8, the Planning Board approved Michael Macneil’s outdoor marijuana cultivation facility at 537 Whittier Road. It is the first outdoor grow facility in town.

With two medical marijuana facility applications pending, all marijuana slots allowable in Farmington have been filled, Code Enforcement Officer J. Stevens Kaiser said.

The town’s Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Ordinance lists four marijuana categories – stores, cultivation, manufacturing and testing – and the number of operations permissible in each. Four adult use and three medical marijuana stores, seven cultivation, five manufacturing and two testing facilities are allowed in Farmington. Once the slots have been filled, no new applications will be considered unless one goes out of business or is sold, Kaiser said later.

Fencing, including 200 feet of privacy along Whittier Road and a 6-foot electric fence enclosing the area, has been installed, Macneil said.

“A fence alarm alerts me if the fence is cut,” he said. “I bought a camper to live in September and October. I live across the street. I own both sides (of Whittier Road).”

“I’ve done a lot of work to the property.”

Planning Board member Judith Murphy asked if it would be cash-n-carry.

It will be strictly cultivation with no customer interface, selling and delivering to adult use stores with the “Metrc” track and trace system, Macneil said.

“I’m trying to establish a market where recreation shops buy right out of the field. It saves me the processing,” he said. “A lot of shops want to do this.”

“Every plant is barcoded. I give custody of the whole plant or portions of it to the buyer,” Macneil said. “It gives the customer a chance to see what they’re buying. What doesn’t sell that way, I’ll dry and process.”

Planning Board member Jeff Wright asked about the growing season.

“June 1 to October, maybe November,” Macneil said. “Frost really hurt early seedlings this year.”

Murphy asked if it could be certified organic.

“I’m not sure about labeling, but I’m as organic as it gets. Manure, fresh air and sunshine. That’s it,” Macneil said.

One neighbor works with him and another comes up three weeks a year. Odor shouldn’t be a problem with outdoor growing and no processing, he said.

Other business

The Planning Board approved two applications for Kevin and Judith Vining to add storage buildings, one 160-feet-by-10-feet, the other 20-feet-by-6-feet, to their 553 Town Farm Road self-storage facility.

“We’re looking to add 2,800 feet. It will be the same style as what’s there,” Kevin Vining said.

Planning Board member Gloria McGraw asked if the project would infringe on any brooks or water in the area.

“There is existing runoff. We’re building on the other side of the property, away from it,” Vining said.

Also approved was the combining of two lots at the corner of Shawnee and Mohawk Drive.

The lots, part of the Voter Hill Estates development, were purchased by Dustin Dushesne in January.

“The most convenient place and view for a house will be right across the middle of the two lots,” Duchesne said. “I ran into a setback issue. If I can combine the two lots, where they’re on the same deed, it allows me to put the house in the middle of the lot.”

“We’ve had several of these in that development,” Planning Board member Craig Jordan said prior to the vote.

Kaiser gave the board an overview of three Community Development Block Grant projects. Farmington Selectmen had approved four CDBG applications totaling $830,000 in March on projects with total values estimated at $8.03 million.

Heartfelt Cookies withdrew its application, Kaiser said.

Franklin Printing applied to the state through Farmington for a $200,000 CDBG, Kaiser said.

“They plan to replace software, update inefficient equipment, improve efficiency in prepress, pressroom and bindary,” he said. “They anticipate creating five new jobs in the next one to one and a half years and retain the current 49 person workforce.”

“It’s a great business. They’re solid.”

Moshers Meat and Seafood applied through the town for a $30,000 CDBG Micro Enterprise program grant to put in a new digital road sign and other equipment and to make other capital improvements, Kaiser said.

“It’s great to see her (Tawnya Clough) expand her business,” he said. “It’s essentially a $145,000 project.”

Another project later this summer will be at the Willow Spring site, Kaiser said.

Planning Board member Michael Otley noted he approved of the projects but doesn’t like digital signs that flash and change messages while driving by.

The Maine Department of Transportation monitors digital signs, Kaiser said.

Specials can be announced on the sign and the notice can be changed electronically, he said.

Approval of Macneil’s application will be considered at the June 23 Board of Selectmen meeting.

 

 

 


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