PARIS — Voters rejected a locally enforceable ordinance for adult retail marijuana shops during a special town meeting Monday night at the Paris Fire Station. The vote was 18-22.

The ordinance would have established strict guidelines to allow up to three small retail marijuana facilities.

Residents who opposed the ordinance gave different reasons for their view. Some thought it was too strict, while others thought it did not go far enough.

Some residents questioned limiting facilities to 1,200 square feet.

Rick Little, who served on the Policy and Procedure Committee that drafted the ordinance, said with the state taking all of the money in taxes and none going to the town, he wanted to limit the amount of money the town would be required to enforce the ordinance by adding police and code enforcement.

“We should start small and see what happens,” Little said. “I’d rather look at this again in a year, Let’s start it and work our way there instead of starting big and making mistakes.”

The town was criticized for not bringing in stakeholders to assist with drafting the ordinance.

One mother expressed concern that someone could open a shop in their garage in the middle of a residential area with lots of children. Language to prevent that is difficult since Paris has no zoning laws.

State restrictions would prevent shops from opening close to schools, parks, churches and daycare centers. That would leave space for roughly three facilities along Route 26, the most likely location for such stores, Little said.

With voters rejected the proposal, the committee will revisit the topic. Some marijuana stakeholders were offering to assist the town in coming up with a new proposal.


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