Bucksport councilors asked to reconsider retail marijuana sales

BUCKSPORT — Two area residents lobbied the Bucksport Town Council Nov. 8 to reconsider allowing retail marijuana sales.

Bucksport’s Land Use Ordinance allows medical marijuana dispensaries as well as growing facilities, according to Jeff Hammond, the town’s code enforcement officer. “All retail uses are prohibited at this juncture.”

Bucksport resident Michael Fitch Jr. said the Planning Board received “little public comment” for or against a moratorium prohibiting retail marijuana last year.

Bucksport is losing out on tax revenue from marijuana sales as well as other money customers might spend in the area, he said.

Anyone in Bucksport who wants to buy “non habit forming pain relief” has to drive a one-hour round trip, Fitch said. Those people may buy gas or go out to eat. That’s all money that could be going to Bucksport, he said.

Fitch suggested that Bucksport repeal the moratorium.

Shaun Wescott of Orland also spoke in favor of Bucksport allowing retail marijuana sales.

“I think it’s morally wrong to deny people access,” Wescott said. “The money it could bring to this town is immense.”

Councilor David Kee suggested the council “revisit the issue.”

“I think I voted against it, but I think it’s something that could use additional discussion by this council,” Kee said.

Bucksport allows medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the downtown district, in the shore land district and on the eastern side of Route 1 in the C1 district, according to Hammond.

Growing facilities are allowed in the industrial park and on the River Road.

In an unrelated matter, Kee, who was elected to another term on the council Nov. 6 in a contested race, thanked everyone who participated.

“It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there,” Kee said. “I encourage more people to run for public office.”

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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