DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Medical marijuana caregivers will have to get a permit in Dover-Foxcroft beyond the required state license after residents approved an ordinance to that effect Saturday.
Caregivers will have to meet standards such as not locating near schools and managing odors that could be a nuisance to neighbors. Although the ordinance allows the town to have rules that do not conflict with the state’s requirements for licensing, the problem could be enforcement. Caregivers are on the honor system to identify themselves to the town and obtain the permit.
The new ordinance is the latest action townspeople have taken to control marijuana sales and associated services in Dover-Foxcroft. Residents voted down ballot questions last year that would have allowed recreational marijuana shops and testing facilities.
A public hearing about the new ordinance was held about a month ago, but no residents attended it, said Brian Gaudet, the town’s code enforcement officer. The planning board moved ahead with the ordinance, because there seemed to be no concern about it. More than 50 residents showed up at Saturday’s annual town meeting.
The ordinance has nothing to do with marijuana questions on the November 2021 ballot that were voted down, said Chris Maas, who serves on the town’s planning board. The questions asked voters whether adult-use marijuana manufacturing facilities and adult-use marijuana testing facilities would be permitted.
Marijuana businesses will still not be allowed, Maas said.
Personal marijuana use comes down to the town having the ability to regulate where people are growing, making sure they aren’t making a nuisance in the neighborhood and keeping marijuana away from children and schools, he said.
When it comes to medical marijuana caregivers, the town knows there are seven such people in Dover-Foxcroft, but it doesn’t know who they are, Maas said.
“The difference is that as a town, we don’t have to wait for the state to come around and enforce these things,” he said. “If somebody has a complaint, the town can finally do something about it.”
Existing registered medical marijuana caregivers may continue to operate without a permit as long as they remain registered.