The first agenda item at the Raymond Select Board’s meeting that occurred on Tuesday, March 10th included the consideration of opting-in for the recreational adult-use marijuana program. The agenda item came to the council by the request of Shawn Browdy, CEO and Owner of B & B Cultivation, a medical marijuana store located on 302 in Raymond.
Browdy, who was scheduled to be the first speaker at the select board meeting, was out of town and thus his associate, Bruce Reilly spoke in his place. “They (B & B Cultivation) have been in business for the past 1 ½ years,” Reilly stated. “They have been successful in building a business for Raymond and for themselves. They have generated many clients by providing friendly and good service in a clean environment. They want to see how the select board will proceed in terms of expanding into the recreational cannabis business.”
Larry McWilliams, who owns Potluck Joint Relief Dispensary and a storefront in Westbrook, also spoke with the Select Board. McWilliams works with B & B Cultivation by providing product. He gave a list of reasons why the Town of Raymond may consider opting in, which included the increase in employment, tax revenue as well as tourism. “It is still in consideration but two to three percent of the sales tax from recreational adult-use facilities may go directly towards municipalities,” he said. “But the fact is, recreational adult-use facilities are coming to Maine, no matter what. In your considerations, think about what this can do to bring revenue to the Town of Raymond.”
Select Board member, Marshall Bullock asked McWilliams, “Do we know where this stands legally in the State of Maine?’ McWilliams explained the laws are changing every day and are not written in stone, yet, but they will be established and solidified soon.
Bullock responded with one of his concerns, “This is still in legal flux - you may have all the faith in the legislature, but we don’t. If they plan to have it implemented by mid-June to meet their (State of Maine) budget by July 1st – then I make the motion that we table this item for 90 days until after the state law is in effect, once the legal kinks have been ironed out. This means we would take a look at this item again in September or October.”
Select Board member, Teresa Sadak seconded the motion.
Select Board member Lawrence Taylor responded to the motion, “If we wait 90 days, we will create zero jobs in this community. It [recreational adult-use] is coming to the state, whether we like it or not. It is the biggest growing money maker. We might as well not even bother if we wait 90 days because other businesses will have the monopoly on it. I will not vote on the motion due to the wait of 90 days.”
Lawrence and Select Board member, Samuel Gifford voted against the motion, Select Board member and Chair, Rolf Olsen, as well as Sadak and Bolluck voted for the motion. The motioned carried and thus, the Town of Raymond will not consider opting in until September or October of 2020.