WILTON — Town Manager Rhonda Irish presented two proposals for marijuana business fees to the Select Board on Tuesday evening.

One set was formulated by Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin and used in a prior version of the town’s Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Ordinance. The other was an average of fees used in Farmington, Jay and Wilton.

There are different fees for the four tiers of cultivation facility types, categorized by the scale of the facility.

The Select Board sets the fees, rather than voters, because of a change in the town’s marijuana ordinance. As a result, there are no fees in place as businesses await the annual renewal of their licenses.

Chairman David Leavitt suggested and calculated the fees based on a regional average because “we shouldn’t be competing with each other to try to steal pot business.”

Selectperson Tom Saviello suggested, however, that the fees should also be based on the time public services in Wilton spend overseeing the facility. He specifically took issue with the averaged tier 4 fees, which were $4,000 higher than tier 3.


These services and departments, which would receive a percentage of those licensing fees, include town administration, the Police Department, the Fire Department and code enforcement, according to Irish.

Aside from tier 4, Selectperson Tiffany Maiuri supported the idea of using an average and said the fees “seemed reasonable.”

Saviello eventually said he was OK with basing the fees on the average, as well.

Setting these fees can also be a “trial period,” Leavitt added. If a year from now the board feels the fees are too high or low, they can adjust them, he said.

During discussion, John Black, who owns a medical marijuana facility and retail store in Wilton, took issue with the idea of using an average.

“There are some rules and regulations out there that it has to be based on actual numbers being proposed from the town,” Black said. “I would try to compare these to other (non-marijuana) businesses in town that are bigger and larger facilities.”


Black also asked what plans the town has to get “additional fees” from caregivers who are “selling and growing at home” but have not registered with the town.

He said there are 16 individual caregivers operating in Wilton, but the town only “knows about four or five.”

“I don’t believe our ordinance covers the individual registered caregiver, so that’s not included in here, to go all around and adding that to our mix and trying to find out who they all are,” Irish responded.

Individual caregivers who grow at home “are not subject to these licensing rules,” Lavin added.

Saviello proposed the board wait to approve the fees and allow people to voice their opinions on the matter during public comment at the meeting. Irish said businesses whose renewals might be delayed by this idea will be informed of the finalized fees.

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