Livermore Falls medical marijuana ordinance discussion gets heated

Aug. 24—LIVERMORE FALLS — Tempers flared briefly at the selectmen meeting Monday during a discussion about a draft ordinance for medical marijuana establishment license for registered caregivers.

Travis Conway, code enforcement officer, questioned resident Roger Moulton about electrical work done at a former church building. Moulton grows medical marijuana to meet the needs of his medical marijuana clients. Moulton said he is a licensed medical marijuana caregiver.

Conway said no permits were pulled for electrical work.

Moulton said everything was done through the state. He also said he previously spoke to Rob Overton, the former code enforcement officer, and was told he didn’t need a permit to grow medical marijuana as a caretaker.

Moulton said what Conway was talking about was unrelated to the draft ordinance.

Voices were raised in disagreement. Select Board Chairman Jeffrey Bryant slapped his hand on the table several times to bring the meeting back to order. He said that the agenda topic was the Medical Marijuana Establishment License for Registered Caregivers.

At one point, Bryant threatened to end the discussion.

With no updated copies of the Planning Board’s proposed ordinance for selectmen, town manager or town clerk, the discussion ended and is expected to be continued Sept. 7 at the Select Board’s next meeting. It would be too late to have a warrant article ready for the Sept. 2 deadline for the Nov. 2 referendum vote.

Even if the Planning Board held a special meeting on the proposed ordinance, it would still need to go to legal review, Town Manager Amanda Allen said, and would not meet the deadline. It would still need to go to the Select Board as well.

Planning Board member Tim Fournier said the board followed the state rules.

Allen said when the ordinance is ready a special town meeting could be held.

Moulton said he was extremely frustrated with the situation. He would like to open a retail medical marijuana store at the former Corner Store building at Pleasant and Church streets, also known as Route 133 and Baldwin Street. He said he has been working to get an ordinance in place since November 2020.

After Dec. 13, 2018, residents of a town must vote to opt-in to the state marijuana program to allow retail medical marijuana businesses.

In another Planning Board matter, Allen said there has been a lot of miscommunication. If someone on the board has an issue they are to go the chairman of the board, and then he/she will go to the code enforcement officer who will bring the issue, if necessary, to the town manager.

The Planning Board has already discussed the chain of communication, Chairman Tom Barker said after the meeting.

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