Town seeks pot dispensary moratorium

Posted Oct. 02, 2010, at 1:14 a.m.

WHITNEYVILLE, Maine — Selectmen here have called a special meeting for Monday to attempt to block a medical marijuana dispensary proposed for Main Street.

Selectman Nate Pennell said there is widespread objection to the location of the dispensary, which would be in a former doctor’s office close to the town’s center, library and Sunrise Trail entrance.

“We have a business district already,” Pennell said. “It’s out on Route 1. This site is inappropriate.”

The special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Hill-Grove Building on Main Street.

The company proposing the dispensary is Primary Organic Therapy Inc., or POT, based in Portland.

POT’s CEO Derek Brock told the Bangor Daily News in August, after his firm was selected to develop one of the eight Maine dispensaries, that he would be contacting Whitneyville officials to discuss the project.

“No one from the company has contacted us nor anyone from the state,” Pennell said Thursday.

Several calls to POT were not returned Thursday or Friday. The company phone is unstaffed, and a recording promises to return any phone message within 24 hours.

Pennell said residents in this town of 237 people also are upset with the manner in which clients are being recruited for the dispensary.

Someone is “phoning people and telling them to seek a marijuana prescription and to get a state ID,” Pennell said. He said this manner of recruitment is not sitting well with local people.

Pennell said the selectmen would propose seeking a six-month moratorium on locating any marijuana dispensary in town.

POT originally submitted two applications to the Maine Department of Human Services for dispensaries in Sanford and Whitneyville. The Sanford application was not selected for state approval.

According to POT’s application, the company intended to have the Whitneyville dispensary up and running by December. The application states that POT will be using a 25,000-square-foot growing facility in Sanford, which is being leased from the same company that owns the building where the dispensary would be located in Whitneyville.

State officials said the number of potential medical marijuana users could range between 2,000 and 20,000.

POT’s website states that delivery is available if a patient cannot come to the facility.

The POT website states that anyone with the following diseases qualifies for medical marijuana: cancer, glaucoma, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, and any other chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition with intractable pain.

The website also provides information on how to obtain a state card and seek a pot prescription.

The entire 125-page application submitted to DHHS by POT may be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/dlrs/mmm/primary-organic-therapy-district-7.pdf.

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