BETHEL — Medical marijuana dispensary fees were discussed at length at the Bethel Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Mike Everett, co-owner of Moosehead Farms, came before the board and told selectmen that the dispensary fee was priced too high, claiming it was above the legal limit. He is paying a $1,500 fee.

When discussing why the fee was priced so high, both Everett and selectmen agreed it was because at the time the price was set Maine allowed only eight dispensaries in the state. Now, however, the state can have an unlimited amount of dispensaries so the price of the fees can be lowered as they are not in such high demand.

“I specifically remember arguing that the fees were high. Period. This board agreed to renewal review it in a year,” says Everett. “According to Maine State law, you can only charge a fee that is representative of the cost to basically initiate. At this point, I’m not complaining. I pay the fees which I think are already high. But the one on the dispensary license, that’s insane. It doesn’t cost you fifteen hundred a year to oversee my facility as it is. How much is your liquor license?”, Everett asked one of the board members.

“Fifty bucks,” one selectman said.

“They pay it to the state. They reimburse us for advertising costs for the public,” said the Town Clerk Christen Mason.

Everett asked about the cost of obtaining a restaurant license.

“Depends on the number of seats, but the highest it is [is] twenty,” said Mason.

“Okay, right now, in my businesses. I’m paying over $4,500 a year to be permitted over there. And that’s just the town,” said Everett.

The board tabled further discussion to research appropriate prices and will bring the topic back on the agenda for January 2022.

“[The selectboard will] have some more homework done in this, get copies of what the state law says, have copies of what other towns that have dispensaries [are and] see what their levels are,” said Selectwoman Michele Varuolo Cole.

In other news, Town Hall hours are officially from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

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