Edgecomb residents will decide whether or not to impose their own marijuana moratorium during their May town meeting. The planning board held a public hearing April 13 to provide residents with more information on the proposed six-month ban as well as revised shoreland zone and coastal waters ordinances.
The revised shoreland zone ordinance has 35 pages of clarifications and state-mandated changes, according Ordinance Review Committee Chairman Barry Hathorne. The town’s harbor master and assistants currently operate under the state’s coastal waters ordinance. The planning board is proposing to adopt those state regulations.
Neither proposal generated any questions. All the questions pertained to the proposed moratorium on marijuana retail sales and growing and establishing social clubs for consuming pot. Selectmen submitted it over confusion about the current state moratorium.
In November, Maine voters narrowly approved recreational marijuana use for adults over age 21. People now may possess 2.5 ounces and grow their own marijuana. In January, the Legislature imposed a moratorium on selling and growing retail marijuana. The Legislature is currently establishing rules and regulations regarding marijuana legalization in preparation for retail sales and growing beginning in February 2018.
“The state’s moratorium doesn’t have any impact on the town.” said Planning Board Chairman Jack French. “The new state law divides up responsibility between the municipality and state so we need our moratorium to give us time to write our own regulations.”
Medical marijuana caregiver Jan Martin of Boothbay and caregiver consultant Darrell Gudroe of Boothbay Harbor attended the hearing at the request of two Edgecomb residents.