DURHAM — Voters in a series of non-binding referendum questions Tuesday supported allowing adult-use marijuana stores, marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana manufacturing facilities and marijuana testing facilities.
Each of the four questions on the Nov. 6 ballot asked if voters approved the four uses “provided they operate in compliance with all applicable state and local requirements.”
According to unofficial results released by the town clerk’s office, voters authorized the operation of adult-use marijuana stores in town by a vote of 1,177 to 1,063; operation of cultivation facilities, 1,263 to 975; manufacturing facilities, 1,208 to 1,026, and testing facilities, 1,251 to 984.
Results of the balloting were delayed because the Town Office is closed on Wednesdays.
After it became legal to possess and grow small quantities of marijuana in Maine in 2016, local decision-making continued around regulation and licensing of businesses. Towns are allowed by state law to prohibit retail establishments, but not medical marijuana dispensaries.
Also under state law, none of the four types of businesses listed on the ballot would be legal in Durham unless voters approved them in a binding referendum.
According to the town website, the the Board of Selectmen will now ask the Planning Board to write ordinances regulating the approved categories.
Ordinances will ultimately have to go to a Town Meeting vote or a binding voter referendum.