Cumberland creates zone in event of medical pot dispensary

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council voted unanimously Monday to allow registered medical marijuana dispensaries in part of town.

The town code will be amended to allow dispensaries as a permitted use in the Office Commercial North district, which follows U.S. Route 1 from the Tuttle Road ramp north to the Yarmouth town line.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been allowed in Maine since 2009. Eight districts were created, and Cumberland is part of the district that includes Cumberland County. Wellness Connection of Maine, based in Portland, is the registered dispensary for the district.

Cumberland is pursuing a proactive approach to dispensaries by designating an area for the use, as opposed to having to react to an application, Town Manager Bill Shane said.

The “big push” to establish the zone was interest in the facilities from surrounding communities, he explained, “and we really didn’t want to get caught up in a moratorium that took a lot of staff energy, council time, Planning Board time, to deal with location.”

Shane added that “it may never happen. If things continue the way they are, as they progressed in Colorado, this could all be basically a dead issue in a few years if they legalize (marijuana) statewide.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.