LISBON — Lisbon town officials on Tuesday extended a moratorium on any potential marijuana retail store developments as its planning board works to figure out where to allow them and how to regulate such businesses.

When the town approved its previous 90-day moratorium in January, councilors were receptive to the establishments in town, but had concerns about shops setting up before rules were ironed out. Councilors didn’t want to give an unfair advantage to a business coming into town and being grandfathered in under new laws.

“In doing this we essentially have everyone treated the same and not have anyone treated differently,” said Council Chairman Allen Ward.

Towns across the state have established moratoriums, and sometimes multiple moratoriums, to stall development as they work to firm up local regulations on retail marijuana sales, if they decide to allow it at all.

Mainers voted to legalize marijuana at the polls in November 2016, but Gov. Paul LePage later vetoed the legislation. The legislature overturned that veto in May, allowing the law to go into effect in 2019.

“What this legislation means from a big picture perspective is that in order to allow either recreational of marijuana establishments within the town you as the council would need to take an affirmative vote to allow such establishments,” said Town Attorney Dan Stockford. “The exception is registered caregivers.”


With caregivers as an exception, a moratorium would apply to a retail store, registered dispensaries and marijuana testing facilities.

“For all establishments other than registered caregivers, you have the right to choose not to allow any, choose not to allow some, or for those you do choose to allow you can decide to put them within a certain zone and require performance standards,” Stockford said.

In other business, the council unanimously approved amendments to the town’s ATV ordinance. ATV club members packed the council room, but made no comment during the public hearing portion.

The changes allow ATV riders to come off the trails and use a portion of Wing Street to access Route 9 to the Route 196 intersection. the access extends to the area around Subway on Route 196.

The council also voted to eliminate and replace an outdated trail map.

“What we want to do is eliminate the map because it has some trails on there that aren’t accurate,” said Town Manager Diane Barnes. “I think that’s causing some confusion townwide.”

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