May 20, 2019
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Caribou temporarily suspends new medical marijuana operations in the city

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
James MacWilliams prunes a marijuana plant that he is growing indoors in Portland, Dec. 13, 2017

Caribou city councilors voted 6 to 1 last week in favor of a moratorium temporarily suspending any new medical marijuana businesses within the city.

The decision is a reaction to the Maine Legislature’s passage in 2018 of LD 238, An Act to Amend the Maine Medical Marijuana Law, which provides individual municipalities with more authority in terms of regulating registered caregivers, dispensaries and medical marijuana related operations.

Caribou Zoning Administrator Ken Murchison suggested to councilors before their vote that they should put the moratorium in place to suspend any new medical marijuana businesses while city officials determine the best way to apply regulations in accordance with the new amendment.

“This is so we can take a moment, catch our breath, and come up with some language for the codebook that allows us to better facilitate these permits,” he said.

Councilor Dave Martin asked if passing the moratorium would prevent “people that need or use medical marijuana” from obtaining it.

Murchison said the moratorium will not impact any existing medical marijuana facilities in Caribou, and that it will ultimately allow the city to better regulate land use guidelines.

City Manager Dennis Marker added this this will allow city officials to get everything properly lined up before they consider new business requests or potential expansions of an existing business.

Councilors ultimately voted 6 to 1 in favor of the temporary suspension, with councilor Hugh Kirkpatrick opposed.

This was originally published in The County.

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