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December 14, 2016

Falmouth to wait and see on marijuana sales

Courtesy / Flickr, MarihuanayMedicina
Courtesy / Flickr, MarihuanayMedicina
Municipalities across Maine are weighing the impact of marijuana legalization, with some choosing to implement moratoriums and others, like Falmouth, holding public workshops.

Unlike other communities around Maine, the town of Falmouth has decided to hold public workshops to explore the topic of the sale and cultivation of marijuana, rather than impose a moratorium.

The Forecaster reported that Town Manager Nathan Poore said at the Dec. 12 Town Council meeting the town needed to "discuss how do we handle (recreational marijuana) in our ordinances" as well as "update our ordinances to be clear and precise."

Other Maine communities have gone the route of imposing moratoriums.

Even before Election Day, Bangor's City Council approved a six-month ban on all recreational-use marijuana retail establishments and cultivation in the city if Maine voters approve Question 1.

After Question 1 was approved, Portland's City Council unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on marijuana businesses, joining a growing number of municipalities, including Brewer, Gray and Westbrook, in enacting similar moratoriums.

According to ArcView Market Research, as quoted by CNBC, legal cannabis sales in the United States is big business. The industry jumped 17%, to $5.4 billion, in 2015 and is estimated to grow by 25% this year, to $6.7 billion, according to ArcView Market Research. By 2020 legal cannabis sales in the United States are projected to hit $21.8 billion.

In a memo prepared for the Falmouth council, Code Enforcement Officer Justin Brown said without any changes to the town's ordinances, cultivation facilities would likely be allowed in light manufacturing zones, while retail sales and social clubs would likely be allowed in general business zones, The Forecaster reported.

Photo: MarihuanayMedicina/Flickr

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