Blue Hill selectmen to propose marijuana prohibition ordinance

BLUE HILL — The Board of Selectmen intends to present a marijuana prohibition ordinance to voters this summer.

Maine voters narrowly approved recreational marijuana in a statewide referendum last November. Since then, municipalities, including Blue Hill, have been grappling with how to handle marijuana business interests.

The board discussed possible marijuana ordinances briefly at its weekly meeting June 9.

Blue Hill Selectman Jim Schatz said last Friday that the town was nearing the end of its 180-day moratorium on retail marijuana establishments.

Schatz suggested presenting an ordinance that would prohibit retail marijuana businesses in Blue Hill to voters in August or September.

Selectman Ellen Best suggested holding a public hearing first to let residents “weigh in” on whether they favored a “yes” or a “no” vote.

Blue Hill voters are divided on whether to allow marijuana operations in town, if an annual Town Meeting straw poll is any indication.

One straw poll question, “Should the town prohibit all operation of the above retail marijuana establishments?” garnered 262 no votes and 252 yes votes.

Despite the close margin, there was a greater difference on another question, “Should the town approve operation of the following retail marijuana establishments?”

Voters were split about whether the town should allow cultivation businesses as well as retail stores. However, a larger margin of voters indicated opposition to marijuana social clubs:

The responses were as follows:

  • Retail stores: no 320, yes 198.
  • Cultivation: no 257, yes 263.
  • Manufacturing: no 303, yes 211.
  • Testing facilities: no 294, yes 220.
  • Social clubs: no 369, yes 141.
Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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