Freeport puts brakes on marijuana businesses, clubs

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FREEPORT — The town has enacted a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments and social clubs.

The Town Council on Tuesday approved the moratorium, which is in effect for 180 days, starting on the date of approval. The council on Dec. 6 passed a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana facilities.

At the Jan. 3 meeting, the council also adopted a set of goals for the year.

Both moratoriums on the use of marijuana were suggested by the Planning Board in October. The board said the town should wait to act until after the Nov. 8 statewide referendum on the legalization of recreational marijuana, which narrowly passed and will take effect Jan. 30.

The council was scheduled to approve the retail marijuana moratorium on Dec. 20, but couldn’t because the public hearing wasn’t properly publicized. According to the Town Charter, public hearings must be advertised in a newspaper at least seven days prior to a hearing, which the town failed to do. 

In other business Tuesday, the council adopted five goals for the year, some of which are the same as last year’s goals. 

Among the repeat goals, councilors decided it is still important to maintain a stable tax rate and provide high-quality services to residents while using available resources. 

A second goal, which was also a goal last year, is to have transparent communication between the town and the residents. This goal includes working on ways to increase attendance at Town Council meetings.

The third goal is to better engage residents and businesses in town governance. The fourth goal, which was carried over from last year, is to maintain a strong relationship with the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors, as well as with surrounding municipalities.

The council also wants to explore ways the town can reduce energy costs.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.