NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen has voted 3-2 to place an ordinance on the June annual town meeting ballot that would prohibit retail marijuana establishments and social clubs 

Recreational use of marijuana became legal Jan. 30, though a moratorium signed by Gov. Paul LePage will delay certain provisions of the law until February 2018.

Norway voters said no to the marijuana ballot question by a tally of 1,311 to 1,341, a difference of 30 votes.

Since the vote, some residents, including Selectman Thomas Curtis, have been pushing for the town to put an outright prohibition on retail marijuana establishments and social clubs until the state finishes crafting additional rules and regulations to the law.

Town Manager David Holt said during Thursday evening’s meeting that he would “personally recommend” putting the Maine Municipal Association model ordinance on prohibiting retail marijuana establishments in front of voters in June.

“It’s so easy and simple and uncomplicated,” Holt said. “Otherwise, you have to worry about developing an ordinance where you can only limit it to certain places. Those things are more difficult to do.”

Holt said that if the town were to regulate against retail marijuana establishments being set up in the village, retailers may look elsewhere in town and people who live in those areas may not want the businesses, either.

Near the end of the meeting, Curtis said he had a copy of the MMA’s model ordinance for the prohibition of retail marijuana establishments and wanted the board to vote on placing an ordinance on the June ballot.

He said the local law would prohibit all retail marijuana establishments within Norway, including stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and social clubs.

Holt clarified that a prohibition would not ban people from using recreational marijuana in their homes.

Curtis, along with Selectmen Bruce Cook and Bill Damon, voted in favor of adding the prohibition ordinance to the June ballot; Chairman Russell Newcomb and Selectman Warren Sessions Jr. voted against it.

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