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Rockland to meet on marijuana zoning

By Stephen Betts | Jul 10, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts The Rockland City Council will meet July 31 to discuss whether to allow more marijuana businesses to grow, including retail stores. Scrimhaw, a medical marijuana production facility, opened last month at 500 Main St.

Rockland — The pot issue will soon be back on the front burner for the Rockland City Council.

The City Council has scheduled a meeting for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, to discuss where, if anywhere, recreational and medical marijuana stores can be located.

The decision to hold a meeting comes after the Maine Legislature and Democratic Gov. Janet MIlls approved a bill for regulating retail marijuana businesses. The state Office of Marijuana Policy plans to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana business licenses by the end of the year.

Maine residents chose to legalize recreational marijuana in a 2016 public vote.

Rockland residents voted in a nonbinding referendum in November 2018 on whether to allow marijuana businesses in Rockland. Voters said no to allowing adult recreational marijuana stores in the downtown by a 1,610 to 1,282 tally (56 percent to 44 percent).

But voters said they would support recreational marijuana stores elsewhere in the city by a 1,670 to 1,240 tally (57 percent to 43 percent).

The state law approved in 2016 requires that before recreational sales can go ahead, the legislative body of the municipality must opt in by a vote. In towns, that is done at a town meeting, but in a city such as Rockland, that decision rests with the City Council.

The City Council has not voted on whether to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Fourteen municipalities in Maine have already given the go-ahead for recreational marijuana sales. They are Auburn, Bangor, Bowdoinham, Eustis, Farmington, Hallowell, Paris, Poland, South Portland, Waterville, and conditional access in Etna, Mercer and Topsham, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The City Council has allowed medical marijuana production facilities to operate downtown. Scrimshaw has opened such a business at 500 Main St.

And Glenn Johnson filed an application June 26 with the Rockland Code Enforcement Office for a medical marijuana production facility at 270 Park St.

The Planning Board will review that proposal at its Aug. 6 meeting.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jul 12, 2019 13:31

Unbelievable that this passed, I hope the police set up road blocks for them as they do for alcohol users.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jul 10, 2019 13:01

Better place all alcohol serving places under the same rules.  How many violent MJ users have you seen? They may nod off and eat all of your munchies though.  Good for our local eating establishments. :)

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