WMTW Channel 8 News
Portland Rejects Dispensary Moratorium
Nonprofits Can Now Apply For Permit
POSTED: 10:01 pm EDT June 21, 2010
UPDATED: 11:42 pm EDT June 21, 2010
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PORTLAND, Maine --
The Portland City Council Monday unanimously rejected a proposed 6-month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.
The decision means that nonprofits can start applying for permits to open a dispensary.
Monday's vote was welcome news to a lot of people.
"This is absolutely what we needed to have," said Chris Kenoyer.
City Attorney Gary Wood proposed the moratorium on caregiving and growing facilities in the city earlier this month to allow Portland more time to review the new state law.
"The purpose and intent of this moratorium," said Wood, "is to take time out and let the planning process move through its recommendation to the council for final action."
Some members of the council spoke in favor of the proposal during Monday's public hearing, but nearly every resident who spoke opposed the plan.
"I think for us to implement a moratorium as implied by Gary Wood would be a significant step backwards and a slap in the face," said Charles Bragdon.
Dan Jenkins agreed with Bragdon. He said "Folks that are currently growing their medicine on their property would be forced to probably cut it down and throw it away. I don't think people should be throwing their medicine away on an ill-advised moratorium."
After voting on the moratorium, city councilors discussed where the dispensary should be allowed, and approved a zoning change to allow a dispensary in the downtown area.
Other areas being considered include parts of outer Congress Street and Forest Avenue
That issue now goes to the City Planning Board. Its recommendations are expected by mid-July.
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