BETHEL — Selectmen voted unanimously Monday to extend the moratorium on town approval for medical marijuana stores for another 180 days.

The vote followed a public hearing

Selectman Peter Southam said the moratorium is retroactive to December, when the previous one expired.

Mike Everett told selectmen Monday that a law went into effect that a town must create an ordinance before a caregiver can operate a retail medical marijuana establishment. He said the town’s marijuana committee was tasked with drafting a medical marijuana ordinance when former Town Manager Christine Landes was in office.

Southam said he was unaware that the committee had been assigned that task.

Everett said the committee should begin drafting an ordinance soon so people can vote on it in June. He also reiterated that another issue brought up at past meetings was clarification on what people are actually going to be voting on. 

“Somehow someone has to come up with a clear definition of what is a retail store,” he said. “All of us caregivers have sales tax licenses and we sell to our patients out of our houses. I am permitted to build, I call it an office, in my barn, that’s where I serve my patients,” he said. “You’ve got to define it because it excludes caregivers operating out of their property, so there’s got to be a clear definition in there.”

Former marijuana committee member Rick Whitney said the town should continue the moratorium, saying it has “nothing to lose.”

Selectman Lloyd Sweetser made the motion to extend the moratorium and it passed unanimously.

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