KINGFIELD — Selectmen have joined other towns in the state in investigating ways to prepare for marijuana retail sales and social clubs.

In November 2016, Maine voters OK’d the legal possession of up to six mature plants and 2.5 ounces of marijuana by those over age 21.

On Jan. 27, three days before the law took effect, the Maine Legislature approved a moratorium on implementing parts of the law regarding retail sales and taxation until at least February 2018.

Since then, many municipalities have struggled with ways to adapt to the new law and not deny legitimate business startups.

Selectmen agreed they would not deny any legitimate business from opening, but a moratorium related to sales of marijuana could allow them to review existing ordinances, tax laws and any related restrictions.

On Monday night, Clay Tranten, chairman of the Planning Board, told selectmen that the Maine Legislature implemented its own moratorium on rules and regulations on the sale of marijuana. The state already has licensed a limited number of businesses to operate medical marijuana facilities, but operation of retail businesses had to be regulated by municipalities, he said.

“The state has its own moratorium in place, but they’re putting it back on the towns to have their own,” he said. “It’s still not federally legal, but it is legal in the state.”

Tranten said the Planning Board is aware of a group of people who want to take some sort of action. He expects them to circulate a formal petition to ask for a moratorium of allowing retail marijuana businesses and social clubs.

Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett said petitioners could use their own wording on the petition and collect signatures of registered voters. Once the signatures are validated at the Town Office, selectmen and the Planning Board can establish a committee. That committee would develop a proposal and take that to the voters in a formal hearing.

In other matters, selectmen reviewed their previous discussion with the Kingfield Trailbuilders, an informal group seeking Tax Increment Financing money. The volunteer group has begun to work on a nonmotorized trail in town that will connect with other regional trails, and the TIF money could speed the process. This coalition needed to have a few more town residents, Selectman Ray Meldrum said.

“There were two Kingfield residents there, and the others were from out of town,” Meldrum noted.

Since part of the trail will be on town land, the group agreed at the last meeting to develop a more detailed plan before asking selectmen for more support.

“I like the concept, but I think they need to have more together,” Selectman Wade Browne said.

In other matters, selectmen said their farewells to long-serving Selectman Heather Moody, who is moving from the area.

They will be a special election in September to fill the vacancy.


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