Jay board gives voters say in marijuana retail stores

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JAY — Selectpersons voted Monday to put the question of allowing medical and recreational marijuana retail stores in town before voters next April.

The board also voted to not move forward on a moratorium on medical marijuana stores between now and Dec. 13.

After Dec. 13, a medical marijuana retail store would not be able to open unless residents voted to allow them, Town Clerk Ronda Palmer said.

Someone can open a medical marijuana storefront now in Jay, as long as they are operational and licensed through a town, she said.

There is no municipal approval or license required to open a business in Jay, she said, only a form to record a business with the town.

The town has received a form for Creative Caring LLC, a cannabis care-giving store, on Main Street, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere previously said. 

Palmer said she anticipates the business to be operational before Dec. 13.

The law, LD 1539, an amendment to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act that takes effect Dec. 13, grandfathers medical marijuana retail stores already established and operating with municipal approval before that date. The stores will be allowed to continue operation, even if voters don’t approve of them being in town, according to the Maine Municipal Association.

The town can also choose to regulate medical and recreational marijuana stores by ordinance, LaFreniere said.

In July, the Legislature also adopted a second amendment to the medical use law, which recognizes municipal home rule authority to regulate registered caregivers, LaFreniere said.

“The state is still working on its regulations for adult use licenses but it is our understanding that ultimately such an establishment would apply to the state for a permit and the state would need confirmation that the town opted-in to allow the business before a permit would be granted,” LaFreniere previously said. 

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