NORWAY — Residents voted unanimously Thursday night to approve an ordinance regulating the location and operation of medical marijuana cultivation facilities.
Discussion on drafting an began last October after three proposals were brought to the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen over four months.
Some selectmen and many residents said they were concerned about the number of proposals and what they could mean for downtown.
Resident Tom Hoffelder asked Town Manager Dennis Lajoie at Thursday’s town meeting why there was no language in the ordinance limiting the number of facilities allowed in town.
Lajoie said the ordinance committee “went round and round” on the subject.
“We asked the town attorney, and she said that we could limit the number of facilities if we wanted to,” Lajoie said.
The committee also took into account “how many facilities could fit in the town with the way we’ve limited certain areas.”
Resident Jennifer Clark, who said she uses medical marijuana, asked Lajoie if the town could consider including a “loophole” to protect the town from caregivers who have operated in other towns, but have “shown a history of bad practice.”
Code Enforcement Officer Scott Tabb said if there were issues with a caregiver in a different community, “the state would jump in on that.”
Some residents discussed the possibility of postponing the town meeting to consider adding language to allow the town to suspend or revoke a caregiver’s license if he or she violated certain aspects of the ordinance.
Selectman Thomas Curtis said since medical marijuana and retail marijuana will be an “evolving issue” in the years to come, “we can approve the ordinance as written and amend it as rules change with the state.”
Thomas Curtis, left, Warren Sessions Jr., center, and Mike Twitchell of the Norway Board of Selectmen answer questions about a medical marijuana ordinance at Thursday night’s special town meeting. Voters unanimously approved the ordinance. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)