Legal questions arise from revised medical marijuana application

Location of proposed medical marijuana operation on Route 3 in South China. (photo from Google maps streetview)

by Mary Grow

Three China Planning Board members spent an hour and a half Aug. 27 discussing Clifford Glinko’s revised application for a medical marijuana operation in the commercial building on Route 3 in South China that housed Mainely Trains and other businesses in the past.

The focus was on preliminary legal questions and the meaning of state law and local ordinance definitions. Board members had an opinion from town attorney Amanda Meader, but were informed she plans to supplement it, and they thought of additional legal questions. Glinko was accompanied by attorney Christopher McCabe, of MacCabe Law, LLC, which describes itself on its website as “Cannabis Law Firm” specializing in issues like Glinko’s.

Board members started to discuss the criteria that will determine whether they can approve the application, but got hung up on the first one and discontinued the discussion until their Sept. 10 meeting.

The first question was whether the revised application was amended or new. The three members present agreed it is a new application. Toni Wall’s motion for a new public hearing was not seconded.

Questions about state law included definitions of terms and how large the separation must be between a school – Grace Academy is on the south side of Route 3 almost opposite the proposed facility – and anything related to marijuana.

Neighbors John and Carol Boynton had questions about waste disposal and about the impact of the “opt in” provision in current state law. On Nov. 5, China voters will act on a local ballot asking whether they want to allow medical marijuana operations in town. Board Chairman Tom Miragliuolo said as of Aug. 27 he had not seen the wording of the ballot questions.

The new application describes two “suites” in the building, one to grow and package marijuana for medical use – Glinko is a licensed caregiver entitled to conduct such activities – and the other to sell cannabis smoking materials. Glinko said the two operations will be separate.

He plans to have manufacturing, which he and McCabe described as extracting oils from the plants and turning them into saleable products, done off-site. There will be little waste, he said; it will be disposed of off-site by contract with a specialist in marijuana waste disposal.


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