SURRY — Voters during the Nov. 3 election will be asked whether to allow retail marijuana operations in Surry.
Resident Karl Holmes had circulated a citizen’s petition last winter to get the question on the ballot.
The question is: “Do you want to allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing and sale of marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and town ordinances in Surry?”
“This way we’ll get more people to actually vote on it,” said Selectman Betsy Armstrong of the timing of the vote.
The turnout at the polls, especially during a presidential election, is usually greater than at an annual Town Meeting.
The referendum legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana in Maine was in November 2016. Municipalities must “opt in” to allowing adult-use businesses. Fifty-two of Maine’s 430 towns and 23 cities have decided to allow some kind of adult-use business to open within their borders, the Portland Press Herald reported Sept. 8.
Earlier this month, the state Office of Marijuana Policy announced the first licensed marijuana stores in Maine, which are in South Portland and Northport. Sales can begin Oct. 9. No stores have been approved in Hancock County.
The town of Surry is holding a public hearing about the marijuana question and other items on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Surry Fire Station.
At that same hearing, proposed changes to the Unified Development Ordinance and shoreland zoning will also be addressed.
No more than 40 people will be allowed to attend in person.
Details for signing up to attend via the Zoom videoconferencing platform or to reserve an in-person space are available at the town office.