ELIOT, Maine — The town’s new Adult Use Recreational Cannabis Committee will hold a community forum to discuss an adult recreational marijuana ordinance Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m.
In November, voters approved the creation of licensing standards to allow retail stores to sell recreational marijuana to adults in the Commercial/Industrial District. The vote was 1,742 to 1,663. The committee was formed soon after, appointed by the Select Board.
State licensing of adult-use marijuana establishments will not begin until at least summer 2019. Municipalities can regulate adult use marijuana establishments.
Town Planner Doug Greene has prepared a preliminary ordinance framework. Greene included a history beginning in 1913, when Maine prohibited marijuana. In 1976, Maine decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, and in 1999, limited proscribing and possession of medical marijuana was allowed.
The Adult Use Marijuana Act (LD 1719) was enacted May 2, 2018, as emergency legislation and replaced the citizen initiative Marijuana Legalization Act.
Greene’s report said state legislation provides for one set of rules governing commercial medical and recreational marijuana cultivation, processing, testing and sale. The legislation also allows local control and guidelines for building permit and zoning regulation.
At the Adult Use Recreational Cannabis Committee’s meeting on Dec. 3, members discussed the financial benefits to the town, including the possibility of imposing a town sales tax, and the support to local businesses.
Discussion at the forum could include licensing, impact fees, zoning, noise, signs and odor.
Members of the committee are Brigham Pendleton, chair; Jessica O’Donoghue, vice chair; Hughes Pope and Fred Poisson.
The Adult Use Recreational Cannabis Committee community forum on Jan. 29 will be held at Town Hall, 1333 State Road.