Livermore Falls board approves medical marijuana cultivation facility

·3 min read

Jul. 21—LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen voted Tuesday to approve a license to operate a medical marijuana cultivation facility at the former Primary School at 20 Baldwin St.

Selectmen have 15 days from approval to issue a written license, if they find the plan complies with the town's medical marijuana establishment ordinance.

Prior to the vote, selectmen held a public hearing on the application submitted by Dana Cummings under the name DEAT to operate a cultivation facility at the former school once operated by the School Administrative District 36.

Cummings also has submitted a site review application for a retail store on Pleasant Street, at the intersection of Baldwin Street. The Planning Board tabled it in June until a traffic and parking study could be done.

Cummings said he grew up in Livermore Falls and has family members, including his mother, living in town. He splits his time between Maine and California, where his children live. When they are 18 years old, he plans to live in Maine, he said.

Resident Roger Moulton, who has a medical marijuana cultivation and retail store down the street from Cummings' proposed facility, said he didn't see a timeline to open in the application.

Cummings said he plans to open within 12 months.

Residents voted 482-257 in November to approve an ordinance to authorize and regulate medical marijuana retail stores, growing facilities and product manufacturing facilities. There is no limit on the number allowed.

Shari Ouellette of Jay, who owns a business in Livermore Falls, said five retail marijuana stores are operating in town.

Four of them are on Main Street.

"Do we want Livermore Falls to be known as Pot Land?" Ouellette asked. "What do we see for Livermore Falls?"

"A lot of drugs brings a lot of crime," she said.

Select Board Vice Chairman Ernie Souther said the pot places that have been approved are medical marijuana facilities.

Medical marijuana establishments are the only businesses covered by the ordinance.

He voted against the ordinance because he didn't like it, he said.

Sometime in the near future, Souther said, there will be work on an adult use marijuana ordinance.

Cummings said his intention is not to have the cultivation facility, which has 10 cameras, open to the public.

"I don't want to be a bad neighbor," he said. "I want to be a good neighbor."

Selectmen voted 3-0 to accept Cummings' application. Souther didn't vote.

In other business, after an executive session for Town Manager Amanda Allen's annual review, selectmen voted unanimously to give her a $5,000 stipend from the town's allotment from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid out quarterly.

Allen said Wednesday that she declined the stipend. The board tabled action on it following her decision, she said.

Allen completed the first year of her three-year contract in May. She was hired in May 2021 as a full-time town manager with a starting salary of $72,000 which she still makes.

She had been interim town manager beginning in August 2020.