WILTON — Wilton continues to lower and adjust rates for marijuana cultivation within the town as the select board voted to lower the tier one license renewal rates from $667 to $250 at their select board meeting Tuesday, March 7.

The select board only adjusted the price for tier one facilities, as there are only tier one facilities located in Wilton.

The topic of different fees for businesses that grow and sell cannabis in Wilton began on Feb. 7, when John Black, CEO of EarthKeeper, appeared before the board asking the board about the nature of those fees and why the cost was 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?”

Town Manager Perry Ellsworth presents a table graph showing different rates from other towns to the Wilton Select Board on March 7. The select board voted to reduce their rates to be on par with Farmington. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

Discussion of the topic continued at the Feb. 21 select board meeting where several businesses, including EarthKeeper and Honey Comb Farm appeared before the board to share their grievances with the redundant fees.

“We have three fees, the state has three fees, three inspections, and it’s all redundant,” Selectperson Mike Wells addressed the board on Feb. 21. “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.”


At the Feb. 21 meeting, the select board voted to reduce the cost of inspection fees for cannabis license renewal for medical marijuana businesses from $1,333 to $100.

At the March 7 meeting, these reductions continued as the board took issue with the $667 for marijuana cultivations to renew their licenses.

Town Manager Perry Ellsworth collected data from other towns and what they enforced for their license renewal fees. Jay and Fairfield were among the highest at $1,500 for tier one licenses. Farmington, however, only charged $250.

“When we look at these fees that we charge, it’s not just the two or three hours that the code enforcement [officer] and fire chief and the police chief spend doing these inspections and then writing up reports,” Chairperson David Leavitt stated to the board.

“It’s not just a simple hourly rate,” he continued “and just look at the big picture of actual cost. Because the taxpayers should not be paying to operate a business. They shouldn’t be financing the code enforcement or the fee structure for businesses. It should be a business cost.”

Vice-Chairperson Phil Hilton proposed a $240 fee, which failed to pass. When changed to $250, the motion passed unanimously.

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