NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday evening to schedule a public hearing and a special town meeting for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6 to vote on a medical marijuana ordinance.

The hearing and meeting will be held at the Town Office at 19 Danforth St.

Voters in October unanimously established a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana growing operations.

The issue arose after three proposals for growing facilities 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 their effect on the downtown.

Town Manager Dennis Lajoie, who also served on the six-person committee that drafted the ordinance, said its purpose is to “regulate the location and manner of operation of medical marijuana cultivation facilities.”

Lajoie said that according to the ordinance, a cultivation facility would be 1,000 feet from the property line of any town residence, pre-existing day care center, public or private elementary or secondary school, house of religious worship, public park or recreational area, or any existing medical marijuana cultivation facility.

“This was one of the things we spoke with our town attorney about, and she told us that if (we) write an ordinance that makes it so that the only place you could put a facility is in the middle of Norway Lake if you built an island there, we’re going to be challenged and we’re going to lose,” Lajoie said. “Fortunately, she said that she didn’t have a problem with 1,000 feet.”

Norway selectmen, from left, Russell Newcomb, left, Warren Sessions Jr., Bruce Cook and Mike Twitchell listen as Town Manager Dennis Lajoie explains how the town’s medical marijuana committee wrote the final draft of a medical marijuana ordinance. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)

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