Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jul 2010
Source: Times Record (ME)
Copyright: 2010 Times Record Inc., ASC Inc
Author: Seth Koenig


Brunswick location on list of proposed Cumberland County sites up for

BATH - The city of Bath has joined the growing number of Maine
communities actively considering the potential impacts of a medical
marijuana dispensary.

The City Council on Wednesday agreed to direct the Planning Board to
hold a public hearing on medical marijuana dispensaries and where in
the city one might be appropriate. The council did not take any steps
toward placing a moratorium on dispensaries in the city, a step taken
by nearby Topsham and some other Maine towns.

A Maine Department of Health and Human Services list of proposed
dispensaries in Cumberland County indicates that one is proposed for
Turner Street in Brunswick.

A statewide vote in November 2009 approved medical marijuana
dispensaries, making Maine the fifth state to adopt a legal
distribution system for the drug.

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to
license one such dispensary in each of the state's eight public health
districts. Bath is part of a district that includes all of Sagadahoc,
Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties.

Nearly 30 applications were submitted by hopeful dispensary operators
late last month. Only two were submitted by applicants proposing a
store in the district that includes Bath, according to state
documents. One is a group based in Thomaston and the other application
is linked to a man from Windham.

Giroux told the City Council at its Wednesday meeting that the city
cannot ban the dispensaries outright. However, Giroux suggested that
councilors may want to begin considering zoning language that would
determine where in the city the operations would be most

Councilor Kyle Rogers said looking at such zoning would be prudent,
with fellow councilor James Omo admitting, "I can understand the
potential concern of having one in the historic downtown area."

Councilor David Sinclair acknowledged the negative stigma that often
accompanies the concept of marijuana distribution, but said the
council should consider all sides of the issue before approving any
zoning changes.

"(A marijuana dispensary) also might bring shoppers who don't normally
come to Bath, and there may be businesses that want to be next to
that," he said. "I want to make sure we hear what anybody might want
to say about this."
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