Kittery grapples with role as pot border town

August 6th, 2017 by admin Leave a reply »

KITTERY, Maine — Inside the council chambers on July 24, a group of town officials pondered all the possible ways legalized recreational marijuana could play out in town.

This past November Maine voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana by a slim margin and a state legislative committee is wrestling with the details of use, sales and taxation. In Kittery there was strong support for legalization with 3,448 votes in favor to 2,171 opposed.

“There is a lot of concern, even where marijuana has been legalized in other parts of the country, it’s still fairly new in terms of recreational legalization,” said Kittery Town Manager Kendra Amaral, who serves on the town’s marijuana working group. “The way we’re approaching it is we’re trying to understand as much as we can and proceed in the most public and thoughtful way possible. We are giving the public every possible chance to speak up with the workshops and community forums we’ve hosted so they can let us know if they think we’re going in a wrong direction. Going forward does not come without risks, so it comes down to how we’re going to balance those risks to eliminate as much of the negative impacts and reap as much of the positives.”

Municipal officials in Maine have several months to enact specific land-use ordinances to shape what recreational infrastructure and uses will be permitted in town and where it will be located, however, many municipal leaders are wary

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