City approves first reading of recreational marijuana ordinance


The ordinance excludes retail sale of recreational marijuana.

City Council accepted the first reading of a recreational marijuana ordinance that excludes retail sales at its Dec. 7 meeting. Last summer Origins Cannabis approached the city about opening a cultivation facility at the old Moss Tent building.

The Planning Board drafted the ordinance in five separate meetings from September to November, including an October public hearing prompted by a request from the council in August. The state’s Marijuana Legalization Act requires towns to opt into the legislation. Towns can choose to opt in without an ordinance of their own or can create their own ordinance building on the legislation.


Inside an alleged marijuana conspiracy aided by law enforcement for cash and cars

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On the morning of July 21, 2020, more than a dozen police vehicles converged on Narrow Gauge Distributors, a medical marijuana cultivation business housed in a former shoe factory on High Street in Farmington.

By noon, investigators were tossing large marijuana plants pulled from the building into the back of a shipping container and hoisting boxes of evidence into a U-Haul truck. State and federal agents also were busy searching for and seizing marijuana, cash and firearms from other marijuana facilities and homes in western Maine.

For more than a year, federal authorities remained tight-lipped about why they had raided the buildings and what exactly they were investigating.


Dixfield town manager charged in illegal marijuana conspiracy has been fired

James McLamb, the town manager of Dixfield

The town manager in Dixfield is out of a job after he allegedly destroyed evidence in a multi-million-dollar illegal marijuana conspiracy.

Selectmen unanimously voted to terminate James McLamb.

He's accused of tipping off two former Franklin County Sheriff's deputies that were under investigation for their role in the operation and then destroying evidence.

He was serving as a deputy in the Oxford County Sheriff's Office at the time.

Eleven other people are named in the federal complaint. Lucas Sirois of Farmington is believed to be behind a massive criminal organization with ties to law enforcement


Police allegedly helped illegal multimillion-dollar marijuana operation

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PORTLAND, Maine - Two sheriff's deputies accepted new cars and an ownership stake in an operation that illegally sold more than $13 million in pot grown for Maine’s medical marijuana program, federal prosecutors said.

Two other law enforcement officers and a prosecutor aided the operation by providing intelligence and tipping off participants, prosecutors said.

Federal documents unsealed Wednesday when one of the defendants pleaded guilty revealed an elaborate program in which marijuana that was grown in western Maine for registered caregivers was sold outside the program, with profits being laundered through a corporate structure.


Cops, prosecutor and selectman among 13 charged in massive Maine pot operation

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Thirteen people, including four former law enforcement officers, a prosecutor and a former selectman, have been charged in a conspiracy to use medical marijuana grow houses in western Maine to illegally sell $13 million of the drug in and out of Maine.

Court documents in the case were made public Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor after one of the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and distribute more than a ton of marijuana and 1,000 marijuana plants.


More Than 90% Of Maine Towns Still Don’t Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales

More than 90 percent of Maine towns and cities still don’t allow recreational marijuana stores, even as sales in the industry have steadily grown since they started nearly a year ago.

While Brewer and Orono are both on track to allow recreational cannabis stores sometime soon, they’ll join only three other Penobscot County communities that allow such shops — Bangor, Medway and tiny Stacyville with just 380 residents. Etna allows growing operations but not retail stores.


Cannabis caregivers and patients form new lobby


Groups representing thousands of medical caregivers and patients are now united under one organization in an effort have a louder voice when it comes to creating new rules in Augusta. The newly formed Cannabis Council of Maine includes representatives from the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, Maine Growers Alliance, Maine Craft Cannabis Association, and the Maine Cannabis Coalition.


Maine adult-use cannabis sales jumped 45% in July, to $9.4 million

Maine’s adult-use cannabis retailers sold over $9 million worth of marijuana products in July, topping the previous month’s record by 45 percent. 

Retailers attribute the sales jump to an increasingly diverse market and a boost from summer tourists taking advantage of the state’s legal cannabis market. 

The state’s 44 licensed adult-use retailers reported 124,004 sales transactions totaling over $9.4 million last month, earning the state roughly $943,500 in tax revenue, according to data from the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy. 


Maine's marijuana market keeps growing, sets sales record in June

Maine’s recreational marijuana market continued its eye-popping growth in June, the state has reported.

Sales of cannabis for recreational, adult use topped $6.47 million for the month, up from $5.36 million in May, according to new data from the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy. More than 86,000 purchases took place during June.

The value of June sales is the highest monthly total since Maine’s recreational marijuana market launched last October, and represents a 20.6% increase over the dollar amount in May. That’s slightly less than the 23.2% growth in May over the previous month.

To date, sales have totaled nearly $30 million, according to the OMP. June sales were roughly six times the total in the first month.


Maine Lawmakers Vote to Decriminalize All Drugs

State lawmakers in Maine passed a bill last week to decriminalize possession of all drugs. The measure, LD 967, was passed by the Maine House of Representatives on Thursday with a vote of 77 to 62 and was later cleared by the state Senate, according to media reports.

Under the measure, criminal penalties would be dropped for simple possession of scheduled drugs including heroin, cocaine and prescription medications. Instead, those guilty of such offenses would be subject to a fine of $100 or be required to submit to an assessment for treatment of substance use disorder.


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