PARIS — At its first Paris Select Board meeting since residents rejected an adult retail marijuana ordinance at a special town meeting last month, the board provided feedback to Town Manager Dawn Noyes and committee member Kathy Richardson on how the town should respond.

The ordinance, which would have established strict guidelines to allow up to three small retail marijuana facilities in town, was defeated 18-22.

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

In a response to a question from Noyes, Selectman Scott McElravy said listening to comments during last month’s town meeting convinced him the ordinance was too restrictive and the market should determine how many marijuana shops can be supported in Paris.

“I think capitalism is a good idea,” McElravy said. “We don’t limit the number of gas stations.”

McElravy said he thought individuals involved in the marijuana business could help the committee craft a new policy. That was a suggestion that came out of last month’s town meeting.

Selectman Christopher Summers joined McElravy in praising the Policy and Procedures Committee for the difficult work it did in writing the ordinance, but he was in no hurry to bring the issue back to the voters.

“It can sit right where it is,” Summers said. “It’s a moot point, as far as I’m concerned.”

Richardson, a member of the committee that wrote the ordinance, expressed frustration with the ordinance’s defeat and what she saw as a lack of direction from the Select Board.

“I have no clearer idea of what you want for this town,” she said.

Summers, Peter Kilgore and Chairman Rusty Brackett said three shops were more than enough for a town the size of Paris, at least at the beginning.

Kilgore said state law limits where shops can be built, and keeping them away from schools, churches and day care centers leaves only a few openings along Route 26.

Selectman Carlton Sprague said he leaned toward McElravy’s view of letting the market decide.

If a new marijuana ordinance were developed, it would likely not go back before voters until the June election.

In other matters, selectmen approved quitclaim deeds on eight foreclosed properties approved last month.

The board also approved price increases for Norway-Paris Solid Waste. The increase will allow the NPSW to break even.

Noyes reported she was waiting to hear if the town will receive a grant to fix the Parsons Road culvert. The culvert is plagued by debris blockage and washouts.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: