LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to consider adult use marijuana cultivation and directed the Planning Board to develop an ordinance to govern it.

The board made the decision after much debate and a push by two men from Florida and Washington, D.C., who asked officials to add adult use cultivation to the proposed medical marijuana ordinance to go before voters Nov. 2. The two would like to do business in Maine, specifically marijuana cultivation.

Town Manager Amanda Allen and selectmen told Kraig Tuber of Florida and Nick Hanson of Washington, D.C., that it would be deceitful to add the wording to the proposed medical marijuana ordinance. The referendum question, which is based on the name of the ordinance, was submitted to the state as required on Sept. 2 for the Nov. 2 vote.

Leslie “Tiger” Hewett of Livermore Falls said he just built a garage on Bridge Street, at the intersection of the entrance to the library parking lot. He said he met Tuber while he was working. They got to discussing the possibility, Hewett said.

Tuber said they were interested in partnering with the town.

Hewett owns property on Bridge Street, Tuber said, and they would like to grow marijuana indoors and sell it to adult use marijuana facilities. The state taxes adult use marijuana at a higher rate than medical marijuana, he said.

Hanson stressed the marijuana plant is identical for both medical and adult use marijuana.

Tuber asked the board to make a slight change in wording to the proposed medical marijuana ordinance that would allow them to grow a marijuana crop for adult use purposes.

The business would bring jobs to the town. They would like to stay in Livermore Falls, he said.

The medical marijuana ordinance, if voters approve, would allow a variety of establishments related to medical marijuana, including registered caregiver retail stores, dispensaries and manufacturing.

Allen said the board and town need to get through the medical marijuana process first. It is unknown if the voters will approve the ordinance, she said.

It is too late to do anything for the Nov. 2 ballot. That would leave the town to hold a special town meeting and get a lower number of people than a referendum vote would generate and not get a true representation of voters, she said.

Livermore Falls residents voted 744-727 in November 2016 to approve recreational marijuana in a statewide, citizen initiative referendum.

The next referendum would be in April to vote on the school budget, Allen said.

Tuber said they cannot wait six months for the vote.

There is a significant demand for adult use marijuana and not enough supply, he said.

This conversation should have come up before Sept. 2, Allen said. There is a state law that requires a written ballot to be submitted 60 days prior to the vote, she said.

If they held a special town meeting it could happen in November or December following the November vote.

After more discussion, selectmen moved forward with a vote for the board to consider adult use marijuana cultivation and have the Planning Board draft an ordinance for it.


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