After delaying the conversation in November, the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen will revisit the possibility of enacting a temporary ban on marijuana retail establishments and social clubs.
The topic resurfaced during the selectmen’s goal-setting workshop Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Prior to Election Day, the board discussed the possibility of enacting a moratorium on marijuana establishments and social clubs in the event voters approved Question 1, to legalize recreational marijuana, subject to regulation and taxation, for adults 21 and up. Question 1 passed 381,647-377,574, according to official results from the secretary of state’s office.
The Damariscotta selectmen decided to delay further conversation about a moratorium on marijuana establishments and social clubs until more information became available about what the regulations would be if the question passed.
During their workshop, the selectmen decided to move ahead and discuss the possibility of a moratorium with Damariscotta residents, according to Town Manager Matt Lutkus.
Damariscotta voters favored Question 1 with a vote of 736-611, according to unofficial results. While the vote was in favor, it does not indicate how residents might wish to have establishments regulated or where they might want them to be located, Lutkus said.
“They might want them in town, but they might want to restrict where they can go,” Lutkus said. “We won’t know until we ask them.”
By imposing a six-month ban on marijuana establishments, the town would have time to create an ordinance or update existing regulations to address or regulate any establishments.
Under the legislation, a municipality may regulate the number of retail marijuana stores, the location and operation of marijuana establishments and social clubs, and may prohibit the operation of retail marijuana establishments and social clubs.
The Damariscotta Board of Selectmen will discuss the matter again Wednesday, Jan. 18. The selectmen could hold a special town meeting about the moratorium as soon as February, Lutkus said.