Nick Westervelt, owner of Scrimshaw dispensary, wants Union residents to be able to grow and harvest more marijuana.

Westervelt will circulate a petition to add an amendment to the land use ordinance regulations as a Warrant item. This item would then be voted on at the annual town meeting in June.

The amendment involves the cultivation of recreational and medical marijuana through a licensed Marijuana Cultivation Facility. It outlines the definitions and performance standards for the facilities.

The article reads, “Shall the ordinance entitled ‘2020 Amendment to Town of Union Land Use Ordinance’ be enacted?” The wording of the amendments are attached.

The current Maine law regarding marijuana allows private citizens to grow and harvest up to three marijuana plants for personal use.

Cultivation involves the right to grow more than three plants and to sell the product, Westervelt said. However, cultivation also requires a license from the state and is carefully regulated.

“This ordinance will not allow retail stores or processing/manufacturing/testing facilities, simply cultivation,” said Westervelt. “As the law sits now only caregivers operating before about a year ago are allowed, as they've been grandfathered.”

Most of the wording of the petition outlines the existing state law regarding a marijuana cultivation facility, Westervelt said. And anyone wishing to operate a cultivation facility must comply with those laws.

The performance standards for a marijuana cultivation facility include several requirements to receive permit approval. This includes security measures, odor and waste disposal. These standards are all listed in the petition.

Security measures that must be present include surveillance cameras that operate 24 hours a day, door and window alarm systems and a fence or wall around the plants. This fence must be “of sufficient height and strength to prevent intrusion.”

“Sufficient measures” must be taken to prevent “smoke, odors… and other substances” from leaving the property boundaries, including a carbon filter.

All facilities must “provide adequate and lawful means” to dispose any waste.

Westervelt feels optimistic that he will receive support and get enough signatures.

“The town will even be able to say you can’t apply to become a facility without a conditional license from the state,” Westervelt said of the ordinance change.

The process for becoming a marijuana cultivation facility involves applying for a conditional license, going before the Planning Board for approval, and then working with a state inspector.

“Marijuana is being grown in Union,” Westervelt said. “Don’t you want it regulated?”

Westervelt plans to circulate the petition during the election March 3. Once he has the required signatures, he plans to present it at a Selectmen meeting.

The petition was written with help from attorney Hannah King of Drummond Woodsum in Portland. According to the Drummond Woodsum website, King is the “co-founder and co-chair of Drummond Woodsum’s regulated substances practice group.” She has also “worked with municipalities, medical dispensaries, entrepreneurs, and investors” in multiple states regarding medical and recreational marijuana.

Westervelt said he would answer any questions about the amendment or the petition.

Scrimshaw is located on Main Street in Rockland. The phone number is 466-9408.