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Brewer OK’s Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries 

City councilors in Brewer voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.Voters in the state approved the idea of dispensaries last month.Folks in Brewer say so far no one has approached the city about opening one, but they want to get ahead of the issue.”We understand medical marijuana does a lot of good things for people. We understand that very seriously,” says Councilor Joseph Ferris.Brewer city councilors say now they need to understand how a medical marijuana dispensary could impact their community.Police Chief Perry Antone says law enforcement wants more time to address not only where they could be located, but also, how the marijuana would be cultivated, distributed and transported.”There’s just no information out there for the local legislative bodies such as the city council or local law enforcement to work from,” Antone says.Meanwhile, Christopher Ruhlin told the council his Maine Patients Group would like to be involved in discussions going forward.”We think a moratorium is not necessarily a bad idea. We would like to be a resource to you so we could answer a lot of these questions. And we do have answers,” Ruhlin says.Brewer councilors in the past approved a similar moratorium while they researched methadone clinics. But Ruhlin says comparisons between methadone clinics and medical marijuana dispensaries aren’t accurate.”If anything, we would prefer to be compared to pharmacies. These would be very clean, professional dispensaries,” Ruhlin says.”The purpose of today’s meeting is not to make a statement as to whether we are in favor or against the facilities, because the citizens of Maine have given us that direction,” says Councilor Jerry Goss. “Our job is to give us some time to get it done right.”Over the next six months councilors say they will form a research committee, and hold a public hearing before any further decisions.A state task force in Augusta is in the process of making recommendations on the issue.