CAMDEN (UPDATE Dec. 6, 4:03 p.m.) — The Camden Select Board will not be discussing a possible marijuana retail moratorium at its meeting tonight, as previously noted following their workshop Nov. 5. Word of the change in the agenda came from Town Manager Pat Finnigan at 4 p.m. Nov. 6.
The topic has been moved the Select Board’s Dec. 20 agenda.
CAMDEN (Dec. 5, 10:06 p.m.) — As the Camden Select Board wrapped up its workshop Monday night, the topic of marijuana came up, with Chairman John French suggesting the board discuss initiating a 180-day moratorium on marijuana retail shops, spas and salons in town.
"I think the town ought to be proactive about what and where, if we are going to have them or not," said French. "Would that be something the board will consider, I mean, a six-month moratorium to give the town a chance to look at the ordinances and what is allowed."
A Select Board workshop is not televised, and minutes are not taken. A workshop offers Board members the opportunity to candidly talk about upcoming agenda items, as well as propose future topics. They are open to the public, and public comment is welcome.
Following French's question, Select Board member Jim Heard wanted to know why French felt the need to jump right to a moratorium, while Select Board member Leonard Lookner wanted to know why the town would want to discourage potential business.
"I have a concern about singling out one business over others," said Lookner.
As the various members talked about the potential for a marijuana retail store to be a home occupation, or a storefront business, the pros and cons of one over the other, the final decision was to add it to the agenda for their next meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. The Agenda can be found here. The meeting will take place at the Washington Street Conference Room.
Referendum Question 1, the Maine Marijuana Legalization Measure, was on the Nov. 8 ballot and was approved, but by a slim margin. A "yes" vote supported legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. If approved, Question 1 would take effect 30 days after the governor proclaims the official results of the elections. But due to the narrow margin by which the measure passed, opponents have requested a recount, which is currently underway as of Dec. 5, and could take four to five weeks to complete.
In addition, Gov. Paul LePage (R) has also said he might challenge the results.
Rockland and Rockport are also taking up the topic of marijuana as potential businesses within their communities.
On Nov. 29, Rockland Main Street Inc. distributed an online survey with three questions. They were:
1. Are you in favor of a marijuana store locating in the downtown district in the City of Rockland?
2. Are you in favor of a marijuana store locating anywhere in the City of Rockland?
3. Do you own and/or manage a business in downtown Rockland?
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