SACO — City officials in Saco are considering revising its marijuana ordinance to clarify city policy on those who grow for personal use versus those who grow for others.

Maine voters legalized marijuana in the November 2016 election and in 2017, private, recreational marijuana became legal in Maine for those 21 and older. In 2018, legislation was passed to allow a framework for lawmakers as regulations are made for recreational marijuana retail establishments. Regulations for such retail establishments are still being worked on, and there are currently no recreational marijuana retail establishments in the state.

In 2017, Saco adopted rules to regulate the growing, cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana in response to a growing concern that growing operations were being established in buildings and areas not designed for such use.

The city staff reviewed the city ordinance, and given current laws in the state regarding recreational use of marijuana, have proposed a change in the city ordinance that currently requires those who grow recreational marijuana for their own use to register with the city.

The city ordinance requires those who grow, cultivate harvest, manage process, transfer, exchange or distribute any marijuana product to register with the city and secure and maintain a valid license at all times.

Currently, the city ordinance states that a license is not required for personal use, providing there is no associated growing, cultivating, harvesting, managing, processing, transferring, exchanging or distributing of marijuana or marijuana products.

City staff is proposing to change the city ordinance so that a license would not be required to grow, cultivate, or harvest marijuana for personal use.

Under the proposed change, those who grow marijuana for third parties would still have to secure a license with the city.

A public hearing on the matter will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 4 at City Hall.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected]

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