Topsham may tackle marijuana moratorium at Town Meeting

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TOPSHAM — A moratorium on the production and sale of marijuana could go to Town Meeting next May.

The freeze on retail marijuana sales, which the Board of Selectmen discussed at its Nov. 17 meeting, would follow the narrow passage Nov. 8 of a statewide referendum to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana as an agricultural product.

Selectmen took no action last week, but instructed Town Manager Rich Roedner to start developing moratorium language.

“They’ll be looking to have some sort of moratorium on the May Town Meeting (warrant) that would buy us time, not knowing how the law is going to be changed in Augusta this year, not knowing how the rules are going to come out from the state,” Roedner said in an interview Nov. 18.

He said the process may not be complete until late next summer, and a moratorium might not go into effect until August, or whenever the state adopts its rules.

“So essentially we don’t waste moratorium time waiting for the state to act,” Roedner said.

At the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, he noted, “there didn’t seem to be a lot of talk about a ban, but rather (about) regulations.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.