China News: Board plans public hearing on medical marijuana facility

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members have scheduled a Tuesday, Dec. 13 public hearing on the first application for a medical marijuana facility in town.

Nathan White applied for the marijuana-growing facility in the building that formerly housed Thadius Barber’s dollar store on Route 3. White said he is a licensed caregiver, allowed to grow a state-specified number of plants for himself and up to five clients approved for medical use of the plant.

Planning Board members had many questions about state regulations and White’s plans. They decided to hold the hearing in case other local residents would like to have questions answered.

Security was one concern. White said he has security cameras and door sensors; landlord Barber said the door sensors can be set to call police or White. The separate house behind the commercial building is occupied and the householder will be attentive, White said.

New Planning Board Chairman James Wilkens emphasized that White’s application is for medical marijuana. The proposal has nothing to do with the recreational marijuana referendum apparently approved by Maine voters Nov. 8, pending a ballot recount.

The Dec. 13 planning board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the town office. Public hearings are usually the first business item. Wilkens was unanimously elected board chairman after Frank Soares said he did not have time to continue in the position. Soares was elected vice-chairman.

On another topic, Codes Enforcement Officer Paul Mitnik said as of Nov. 22, he had not been notified that Parris and Catherine Varney are appealing the planning board’s denial of their permit to use a barn on their Neck Road property commercially for weddings and similar functions. However, he said, a board of appeals meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening, Dec. 15.

Asked by a Neck Road resident whether interested members of the public would be allowed to speak during the board of appeals hearing, Mitnik referred the questioner to board chairman Spencer Aitel.



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