Camden to discuss moratorium on marijuana retail shops, social clubs
CAMDEN — Holding a special town meeting to vote on a 180-day moratorium on retail marijuana establishments and social clubs will be discussed Tuesday, Jan. 10 by the Camden Select Board.
Maine voters approved a referendum Nov. 8, 2016, to allow recreational use of marijuana. Gov. Paul LePage has signed a proclamation verifying the results of the vote, and on Jan. 30 possessing and growing marijuana will be legal.
A moratorium would give the town of Camden more time to come up with zoning and other rules regarding pot shops, manufacturing and testing facilities, and social clubs sites.
A draft warrant article to enact a moratorium cites numerous issues to be considered, including the need to wait for State rule making and understand the rules once adopted, the public health and safety of marijuana, and within Camden's various zones, "how and where retail marijuana can be safely and best compatibly permitted."
In addition, the draft article cites the possibility that increased use of marijuana, "through its cultivation, sale and use in social clubs" in Camden, could "create the potential additional burden on the Town of Camden's public facilities, especially the town's public health and public safety resources."
The lack of available measures for public safety personnel to determine "a person's ability to safely operate" vehicles after recreational consumption at social clubs is another concern cited.
Consideration of the impact of marijuana establishments near schools, churches, and residential neighborhoods is included as an area of need to be considered during a moratorium.
Also on the Jan. 10 agenda are a recommendation presented by the Tannery Work Group to enter into a lease agreement with the Camden Farmers Market to make 116 Washington St. the home of the Camden’s Farmers Market, an update on the Snow Bowl, and a report of the Route 1 Advisory Committee regarding designating Route One as a Maine Legislature Designated Scenic Highway
The Select Board meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. in the Washington Street Conference Room.
Courier Publications reporter Susan Mustapich can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at email@example.com.