SCARBOROUGH — The Town Council has approved marijuana cultivation and manufacturing businesses to open in town — but not in the Residential Farming Zone.

In response to public opinion over the past few weeks, the Town Council has removed any mention of the RF zone in the ordinance that allows marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing on Jan. 22.

The accepted zones for cultivation and business are Haigis Parkway, Pine Point Overlay, Pine Point Industrial, Crossroads, Industrial and Light Industrial Districts.

During public forums and hearings, residents said that they were concerned that allowing marijuana businesses in the RF zone would be disruptive for neighboring houses, as odor could become a problem.

Before the amended proposal was made, resident Alecia Emrich said she wanted to express dissatisfaction in the council considering the RF zone.

By excluding this zone, Councilor Don Hamill said, “This is a good demonstration of how the process should work. We had hearings and public comment and there was a strong opposition expressed about issues in the RF zone, and this is a direct result of that.”

Council Chair Paul Johnson said that he was not going to support this amendment because he sees a bigger problem in how the RF zones in town are divided.

“We have two different RF zones in this neighborhood, and we’re seeing some friction,” he said. “We have cul-de-sac RF zones and then RF zones where I live. I don’t care if my neighbor grows all sorts of marijuana. On a personal level I have absolutely no problems with cultivation of marijuana. However, the bigger issue, the problem with our RF zones, you drive half a mile and you’re in a different character RF zone.”

Depending on size, annual licensing fees for marijuana facilities will range from $750 to $10,000. The application fee is $350.

Marijuana cultivation facilities must have a minimum lot of 80,000 square feet, and manufacturing facilities must not exceed 2,000 square feet. Marijuana retail facilities are not included in this ordinance.

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