Winthrop officials reach consensus on marijuana commercial fees


WINHROP – Officials reached consensus on annual licensing and application fees for marijuana businesses on Monday.

While there was no formal vote at Monday night’s meeting, the consensus of Winthrop city councilors will be included in an ordinance that will be considered for approval at their meeting next month.

The agreement was based on information gathered by Ed Vigneault of the Town Planning Council and presented in the Council’s file. Vigneault’s report is the result of an investigation in six cities in central and southern Maine with prescriptions for adult use and medical marijuana similar to the one Winthrop will review in November.

The survey looked at median prices and price ranges for several types of businesses, and the council’s consensus was to opt for median prices for all grow facilities except adults. For these, they decided to go with the upper limit of the range.

“I realize they have to invest in filtration, fans, hydroponics and all that, but given the large amount they can grow in an area of ​​up to 2,000 square feet or 7,000 feet squares, I just think (the median) is a bit low, ”Councilor Elizabeth Peters said.

With cultivation aimed at adults being a high-profit area, she suggested going up to the maximum range for each type of facility in that category.

“We’re going to have marijuana farms all over this city, and I just think if you’re going to grow, then you’re going to pay to gamble, because it’s a very profitable business in the adult business,” Peters said. . “It’s different for medical marijuana; they have a whole different product line but i think for adult use it should be higher.

The maximum range price for an adult facility with an awning up to 500 square feet, based on the survey, is $ 1,500. The maximum range for one up to 2,000 square feet is $ 2,500, $ 5,000 for up to 7,000 square feet and $ 15,000 for over 7,000 square feet.

Councilors Anthony Wess and Priscilla Jenkins have said they would like the city to charge a little less than the maximum range for this category. Peters explained that his reasoning for supporting the maximum range is in part so that Winthrop “doesn’t become a giant pot farm.”

Wess said he didn’t want to hit the top of the range as a “go to business” and recommended amounts slightly below the upper limit instead.

Councilor Linda Caprara said that at the end of the day, going just below the maximum wouldn’t make a big difference.

“Like I said, it’s just a salute to the business community,” Wess said. “I don’t want to be the city that charges the most.”

Right now, Peters said, there is a great demand for grow facilities due to limited supply.

“We are doing recreational tourism right now,” she said. “We welcome tourists who come here for recreational marijuana. What I suggest we do for the fees is a drop in the bucket compared to what they will do if they can grow such a large amount in such a large space. It’s nothing for them.

According to the survey, the median price of annual license fees for other types of businesses is: $ 2,000 for a registered medical marijuana dispensary; $ 1,400 for a medical marijuana retail store; $ 1,500 for an adult marijuana store; $ 420 for a full scale operation for medical marijuana caregivers; $ 420 for a multi-care medical marijuana facility; $ 1,250 for a medical marijuana manufacturing plant or an IHS medical marijuana extraction operation; and $ 1,400 for an adult marijuana product manufacturing facility, medical marijuana testing facility or adult marijuana testing facility.

Vigneault’s investigation also found that state license application fees range from $ 200 to $ 400, which covers the base cost of the review process.

The consensus of the board of directors on the license application was to go with the lower bracket.

The next city council meeting, according to the city website, is Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.

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