August 26, 2019
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Auburn medical marijuana shops worry moratorium will put them out of business

CBS 13 | BDN
CBS 13 | BDN
Dan Jackson of Fire Pharms in Auburn talks about a proposed city marijuana moratorium, and says he's worried it would shut his business and others like it down.

AUBURN, Maine — As the city of Auburn proposes a marijuana moratorium, some medical marijuana caregivers could be forced to shut down.

There are currently five medical marijuana storefronts in Auburn, and while this proposed moratorium is still in the early stages, those businesses owners are afraid they may be put out of business.

“It’s horrible that the city of Auburn would want to put [an end] to these businesses,” said Dan Jackson of one such business, Fire Pharms.

Medical marijuana storefronts have been popping up across Auburn, but city leaders say it’s unregulated.

“We had a day care call and complain that the city would allow one of these places to go in next to their day care,” Auburn Police Chief Phillip Crowell told city councilors.

This week, the city proposed a moratorium that would prevent medical and retail marijuana storefronts from opening for 180 days, but local caregivers say this is a public service.

“It would be devastating,” Shannon Gogan of Legal Peaces told CBS 13. “We provide the safe access place for them to receive their medicinal marijuana.”

Added Jackson: “If you take that away, then [patients are] forced back to calling delivery services or going back to getting it on the black market, where it’s totally unregulated. … I think [city officials] should work with us and we should work with them, and we should educate each other and see how this goes as sort of a pilot. Because we’re already doing it. We’re already here.”

City officials cited complaints and lack of oversight as their main concerns, but these businesses owners say they’re following all the rules, and hope councilors will grandfather them in and they can stay open.

The City Council is expected to take up this issue and take public comment on June 18.

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