KINGFIELD — Voters will decide at the June town meeting whether to allow retail marijuana establishments in town.

Selectmen on Monday decided to ask townspeople to vote on their level of interest in pursuing options to regulate such establishments. Licensed medical marijuana facilities are not included in the retail establishment category and would not be affected by the vote.

Voters at a special town meeting in January approved passing a 180-day moratorium to allow municipal officials the time to research and prepare future options to be presented to voters.

Kingfield is a member of Maine Municipal Association, which advises its member cities and towns. According to the MMA, the standard 180-day moratorium “would prohibit the licensing, location and operation of retail marijuana establishments, including retail stores, cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities, and retail marijuana social clubs.”

The moratorium also applies to any “retail recreational marijuana activity,” which covers proposals that may not strictly meet the statutory definition of retail marijuana establishments or social clubs. Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett said the moratorium can be renewed for another 180 days.

Selectmen agreed Monday that a primary concern was explaining to voters what and how municipal officials are permitted to regulate.

Board Chairman Wade Browne said the definition can include a variety of options, including social clubs.

Voters can ask the Planning Board to develop ordinances to limit how many, what types and hours of operation for potential retail marijuana businesses.

They also can ask the Planning Board to develop an ordinance that regulates where and how marijuana is grown and processed in the town. Voters can ask municipal officials to ban or limit social clubs. If clubs are approved, they would be licensed the same way bars or restaurants are required to do.

The Planning Board is not authorized to impose bans or restrictions on either licensed medical marijuana businesses or on private marijuana possession and cultivation, both of which are allowed by state law.

Selectmen agreed to present Kingfield’s registered voters in June with a warrant article to be decided by a secret ballot vote. A yes vote will authorize the Planning Board to develop an ordinance to regulate adult use of marijuana establishments. A no vote will ban any retail establishments in town, so the Planning Board won’t need to develop an ordinance.

In other matters, selectmen approved the replacement of two 1984 pump station control panels that manage the on/off cycles and other critical functions of several wastewater pumps. The analog boards are nearly 30 years old, and the new ones will cost about $3,186 apiece.

The replacement project can’t be avoided, Targett said, and grant funds are available in the budget.


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