The Wilton select board voting on the renewal of cannabis licenses for four retail shops on Tuesday, Feb. 21. From left to right: Keith Swett, Mike Wells, Phil Hilton, Town Manager Perry Ellsworth and Tiffany Mauri. Not present: Chairperson David Leavitt Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — The Wilton select board voted to reduce the cost of inspection fees for cannabis license renewal for medical marijuana businesses on Tuesday, Feb 21. The new price for inspection is now set at $100, down from $1333.

The change came after a lengthy discussion over the purpose of these town inspections and their excessive redundancy, as several owners claimed the state is already performing regular inspections.

Fees were set for the town of Wilton in October of 2021. The different fees are as follows:

• Retail/medical marijuana store, $1,333

• Manufacturing, processing or testing, $1,333

• Cultivation, tier 1, $667 indoor or outdoor, 0-500 square feet.


• Cultivation, tier 2, $1,667 indoor or outdoor, 501-2,000 square feet.

• Cultivation, tier 3, $3,500 indoor or outdoor, 2,001-7,000 square feet.

• Cultivation, tier 4, $7,500 indoor or outdoor, 7,001-30,000 square feet, $1,000 extra for each additional 7,000 square feet as allowed by state.

“We have three fees, the state has three fees, three inspections, and it’s all redundant.” Selectperson Mike Wells stated to the board. “What I’m seeing in the ordinance, all we’re doing is we’re looking at the state ordinance and saying we’re going to inspect on it, and they already inspected.”

In attendance were the owners of Power Plant, Cannatopia, Honey Comb Farm and EarthKeeper.

John Black, CEO of EarthKeeper, had previously appeared before the board on Feb. 7, asking the board about the nature of these fees and why the cost is set so high.


“Why are we doing inspection on us,” Black asked the board at the Feb. 7 meeting, “and why would we set the fees at $2,000, when we know they don’t cost that much?

“We took the average of what other towns were charging because it was new,” Chairmen David Leavitt stated, “and we took a middle of the road approach to the fee structure.”

Black echoed the same sentiment from his previous public comment, asking what is the purpose of the town’s inspection.

“Why are we even inspecting?” he asked the board. “It goes back to the fact that we don’t inspect anybody else in town for anything.”

“I get charged $1,333 from our retail shop,” he continued. “What’s in my retail shop that’s not in Dunkin Donuts? Big Apple? The Food City? So why am I being charged $1,300 for that?”

Black went on to state that the inspection, which was performed by Code Enforcement Officer Gary Judkins, Police Chief Ethan Kyes, and Chief of Fire and Rescue Sonny Dunham, lasted only 20 minutes.


Judkins was also in attendance. “We did look at the retail store,” he stated. “We went up the hill and we looked at [his farm]. We do the annual inspections because, like Perry said, it’s in the ordinance.”

Examples of fees that other towns charging were presented, with towns like Turner charging $250 and Oxford charging $5000 in fees.

“I’m more interested in having thriving businesses and more employees than I am trying to nickel and dime businesses out of a fee that I consider to be excessive,” Selectperson Tiffany Mauri stated.

After going back and forth on different amounts ranging from $250 to $10, the board settled in $100, with a unanimous vote. With the reduction in fees for retail, the board intends on looking into the ordinance further and examining the fees associated with manufacturing, processing, testing and cultivation.

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