To the Editor:
Bar Harbor is at a crossroads. Do we keep our unique personality with local shops and enough year-round businesses to support our community or do we sell out and give in to being a seasonal, cookie-cutter cruise ship town?
I am the head of the committee in support of retail marijuana in Bar Harbor because I want to keep Bar Harbor unique. We need more diversified year-round business to support our town. Retail cannabis stores should be part of that.
If you have never been to an adult use retail marijuana store in Maine, you might not be aware of how highly regulated this industry is. From the seedling to the shelf, retail marijuana is tracked, traced and tested to make sure consumers are getting a good, clean product. The stores are not allowed to have any names or marketing that might appeal to kids. To get into the stores, you have to present a government ID proving you are over 21. Additionally, the entire premises is under 24-hour video surveillance that is frequently inspected by licensed regulators. The knowledgeable staff at the store are all licensed with annual background checks and fingerprinting to ensure they are of good moral character. All the packaging is clearly labeled with passing test results so consumers are well informed as to what they are purchasing. No products – not even samples – are consumed on site or allowed to be consumed around the business. These stores will be among the safest locations in town.
I encourage you to join me and the majority of Bar Harbor residents in voting YES on the land use ordinance and licensing ordinance for retail marijuana sales this November. Keep Bar Harbor unique and increase year-round businesses employing our local residents.