Editor's note: Joe Kuhn said Dec. 15 while it has occurred to him that every municipality is going to need to consider whether to welcome marijuana enterprises within their town lines, he personally has no intent to do so.

A Hope taxpayer who resides in Rockport expressed possible interest in building a marijuana retail facility in Hope at Dec. 12 Board of Selectmen meeting. At the same time, the board is considering a moratorium to potentially restrict any kind of retail sales.

"I'm a big fan of Hope, always have been, and am looking at a property that might suit something like a retail store," said Joe Kuhn. "I've heard that the state could take up to one year, but I think everyone needs to think about it, and if someone were to apply, if it would be welcomed."

Kuhn did not go into any further details about the plan at the meeting and has not submitted any applications with the town.

The recently passed referendum Question 1, which awaits a recount, would permit the retail sale of marijuana and marijuana products, and allows individuals over 21 to possess 2.5 ounces of pot.

"The recount has not been completed yet. If it confirms [the vote in favor of Question 1], the government has 35-40 days to sign it into law," added Board member Richard Crabtree. "Then it will legal to possess marijuana, but regulations for permits and licenses from the state will not be available for seven to eight months."

"The town has more options before them, such as a moratorium," continued Crabtree, who estimated that the regulations and permits necessary to open a marijuana retail facility will likely take a year to be completed by the state.

"Everything starts with a conversation, and I would like to do business here," said Kuhn. "I'm not a big marijuana guy, but if it's going to be legal, why not have our conduct be in the light of day rather than in darkness?"

"I don't know enough about it to make any decisions until we get information from the state one way or the other," said Select Board Chairman Brian Powers Jr., citing that information from the Maine Medical Association would be instructive in the process. "We should make an ordinance based on information from the state, after a moratorium."

The Select Board revisited the question of legalized marijuana later in the meeting. During this discussion Richard Crabtree recommended that the board implement a moratorium. Crabtree cited language used in a document provided by the MMA: "An ordinance can be enacted at any time, preferably the sooner the better, to prevent legislation."

Although an admitted opponent of the the referendum question, Crabtree said, "My job as a selectman is to effect what the people in the town of Hope want. It was a five vote difference [for or against marijuana legalization in Hope.] We should hold informational meetings. Ideologically it's a much different question — possessing pot or opening a retail store."

Board member Michael Brown agreed with this notion, adding, "Before someone gets in here and sets up, I think that we should be ready to make an informed decision —we've got nothing in place that they can't, and we'd be stuck with it."

"I think that we should have an agenda to protect our town," said Board Vice Chairman Wendy Pelletier. "We have to weigh-out what the benefits would be. It isn't always our job to do what people in town want. You can just say, 'I cannot support it.'"

The Select Board concluded in unanimous support of a moratorium. They plan to gather information from the state and hold further meetings to seek the opinions of Hope residents.

In other business:

The Hope Board of Selectmen made the following appointments at the Dec. 12 meeting:

Mary Tolles, Registrar of Voters.

Bobbi Oxton, Town Motor Vehicle Agent.

Ellie Goldberg, Budget Committee.

The Board members voted unanimously to elect Jim Guerra to the MRC Board of Directors. Hope Selectman Michael Brown volunteered and was appointed to a position as Representative to Midcoast Solid Waste Corp.