Kittery to go into executive session.

Town Council Special Meeting Agenda 1/27/22

Submitted on January 24, 2022 – 1:28pmRevised on January 24, 2022 – 1:41pm Upload file:  PDF iconcouncil_packet_1-27-2022_executive_session.pdf Date:  Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 5:00pm

Executive Session
a. (010322-01) The Kittery Town Council moves to go into Executive Session with the Town Manager and Town Attorney in accordance with MRS 1.6.E to discuss pending litigation resulting from the Marijuana Licensing Ordinance.

Recently the Town’s Marijuna Ordinance has been in the news, See the below links.

Is the Town of Kittery designing a playbook?

Since it is an (Executive Session) or a Closed Door session, one could speculate that the context is from the Agenda, ‘pe litigation resulting from the Marijuana Licensing Ordinance.

Remember, over 600 citizens signed a petition to allow Recreational marijuana in Kittery. The voters also mandated it in Kittery. The Town of Kittery has a habit of sticking medical marijuana locations in residential areas, on dead end roads, near day care centers and the elderly. If you are not concerned you should be for it can pop up right next door to you.

We have business districts of Rte 1, Bypass and Rte 236 that would be very good to put these shops instead of next to residential homes lowering their values.

Green Truck Inc. located on Route 236, owned by a Kittery resident had tons of support. After getting the petition that many of you may have signed at the polls, there was panic at the Town Hall. The Town Manager approached Council with concerns it would derail her ordinance of marijuana. There were several question raised.

  1. Where should we put them?
  2. What would happen if the voters vote on the language the petition asked for?
  3. What was the ordinance?
  4. How can we stop this from happening?
  5. Where was Councilor Cyrus Clark on the issue, did he abstain? After all he is in the business. How did he vote? (See the records).

Who is Cyrus Clark you might ask ? Well he is a Marijuana Entrepreneur and I would add a very smart one. He had multiple conversations with me regarding his stance of retail and medical marijuana coming to Kittery Maine. He was very well informed of the issues since he had a marijuana business in Wells, Maine. He claimed he even worked with the State of Maine on marijuana regulations. He certainly appeared to be in the know and shared his extensive knowledge with the Town Manager and Council.

Well, it did not go so good for those who signed the petition. Then comes the lottery for a business license. Coincidentally, shortly after the ordinance change and lottery, Clark opened a marijuana store in York, Maine right over the Town Line.

Read it on Seacoastonline.com

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/local/york-weekly/2021/12/28/tops-farm-york-maines-only-medical-marijuana-dispensary-opens/9023106002/

The article starts by saying Owner Cyrus Clark has been in the medical marijuana business for nearly 9 years. Cyrus is also a Kittery Town Councilor for those who did not know. Outrageous!

Would a reasonable person believe or have the opinion that there is a conflict of interest here? Now we learn that Sweet Dirt is considering a law suit against Kittery over the Town fiasco retail marijuana lottery the Kittery came up with. If you had the money, you could buy as many chances as you could afford. Where is the outrage?

I am curious if Cyrus Clark abstained from that discussion or offered input with the workshops, the Town Manager, Council?

Did he disclose that he was opening a store in York Maine?

Was this lottery legal under Maine Law? Kittery raised over $535,000 dollars on this fiasco (my opinion). The big winner was Theory Wellness. ( BOSTON — Theory Wellness, a marijuana dispensary operating in three Massachusetts locations, agreed to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution and penalties for its failure to pay hundreds of employees premium wages on Sundays and covered holidays under the state’s wage laws. Aug 27, 2021) https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/story/news/2021/08/27/theory-wellness-fined-nearly-300-k-shortchanging-employees/5615833001/

https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/kittery-nets-535k-in-fee-income-alone-as-cannabis-store-applicants-roll-in

People have asked if it was fair, was it a rouse to raise money, was it deceptive? How could the little guy compete with the big guys and the big money I ask?

Along comes the Lawsuit. Perhaps it should be a Class Action Lawsuit.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/local/2021/12/31/maine-pot-sweet-dirt-eliot-threatens-lawsuit-kittery-weed-license-lottery-process/9043283002/

RIGGED they say! Outrageous. Who are they to accuse Kittery of being deceitful? Kittery is above board.

Back to the petition, the Location of Green Truck is on Rte 236, the corridor to the inlands. The petition should have gone forward. It is my opinion as well as others that it was a stacked deck. They never saw it coming. How did Green Truck or other small businesses make out with the carefully crafted ordinance? Not so good, according to the owner. I’ll let them tell that story.

A recent statement from the owner of Green Truck confirms the frustration:

“There are no shops on Route 236. Theory Wellness is corporate out-of-state money and Indico already has a store in Kittery. Kittery led everyone to believe it would be a first come first serve like all other license applications have always been handled in Kittery . That is until Jeff Pelletier changed it at the very last meeting with zero input. Our lawyer said we have a solid case to sue but I didn’t want to waste any more time or money on Kittery. The article is really good, I just wish I would have made more of a stink and got some exposure for our company.”

The quote was referring to the Sweet Dirt threatens to sue article.

Why did Kittery ban them from Rte 236 and North of the Route 1malls? There are plenty of Marijuana shops on Route 236 in Eliot and South Berwick. I am of the opinion that other shops don’t like any competition. Could there have been competition from South Berwick, Eliot or even the new Medical Marijuana location in York Maine?

Stay Tuned . its about to get interesting.