SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — The Town Council voted unanimously to appoint five residents to its Medical Cannabis Ad-Hoc Committee Tuesday.
Committee members are Stephanie Dulac-Marean, Catherine Allen, Andrea Pye, Christopher Harris and Ginny Alterio.
The committee will investigate and research the impact of legal medical cannabis storefronts in town. Work will include research of safety, parking, traffic, location and impact on the town’s currently licensed 22 cannabis caregivers. The committee is required to deliver its findings to the council by July 1.
The council was motivated to conduct a study on medical cannabis storefronts, in part, due to the lack of state regulations for such enterprises. Based on the committee’s findings, ordinances may be developed for the sale of storefront medical marijuana if such enterprises are approved by the council.
In an Election Day survey, 70 percent of respondents favored caregiver stores and dispensaries for the sale of medical cannabis.
“I really wanted to be on the committee,” Dulac-Marean said following the meeting. “I am a medical marijuana patient – it has been a life saver for me. I’d like to see more education about this issue but, most importantly, I want to work with my committee members to do what is best for the town regarding medical marijuana.”
Town Manager Perry Ellsworth cited ongoing efforts to reduce energy costs at the town library. Pointing to grant-funded research of the library’s heating system and roof solar array, he said, “We just need to get these systems to talk to one another” to lower such expenses.
Regarding the upcoming town budget, Ellsworth said South Berwick should come at less than the $204,000 increase cap dictated by the state’s LD1 law.
Progress on the new police station includes installation of drywall on the first and second floors, doors and roof. Furniture and desktop computers will be brought in within the next week. Following the community open house June 23, the Police Department will move in by July 1, Ellsworth said.