OXFORD — Selectmen voted unanimously Thursday night to schedule a public hearing about a revised marijuana ordinance that puts no limits on the number of marijuana dispensaries and removes Oxford’s prohibition on retail marijuana businesses, but bars marijuana social clubs.

The decision by Chairman Scott Hunter, Vice Chairwoman Samantha Hewey, Caldwell Jackson, Sharon Jackson and Dana Dillingham came over objections that the committee who made the revisions included only town officials and that notice of the ordinance issue was not on the board’s agenda posted for the public.

Former board Chairman Peter Laverdiere and Roger Wulleman, who both served on the original Adult Use Marijuana Committee in 2017 and offered to serve on the second one last year, attended Thursday’s meeting.

Wulleman requested that the revisions be tabled on the grounds that there was no advance notice about selectmen taking up the changes Thursday night.

The meeting agenda posted on the town website included a new business item “to approve the Zoning Ordinance as written and move it to Public Hearing.” There was no reference to it being the marijuana ordinance. Two other unrelated ordinance changes were also discussed.

Wulleman said he found out about the presentation by chance from talking to Selectman Sharon Jackson at a local store. Jackson had an agenda that specifically referenced the marijuana ordinance and was unaware that the one posted to the public did not, Wulleman said.


“I requested that the proposal be tabled,” Wulleman said by phone Friday, “due to the incomplete wording that was made publicly available.

“There is no reason to fast-track these changes,” he said. “There is no reason to call a special town meeting to vote on it. Oxford residents had no representation on that committee.”

In October 2017, the Adult Use Marijuana Committee held its first meeting to determine how the town would proceed with medical marijuana businesses, retail recreational marijuana businesses and social clubs. The committee included residents, town administrators and elected officials.

In June 2018, based on the committee’s recommendation, residents voted to ban marijuana retail and social clubs, approving an ordinance to that effect. The ordinance did not curb the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana, which was already allowed.

On Oct. 1, 2020, representatives for HBC, an established medical marijuana dispensary, and property owner Oxford Commercial Properties attended the selectmen’s meeting to request the town revisit its ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana.

Selectmen agreed that because of language changes in the law, and considering the ordinance was drafted before the law took effect, it made sense to review and revise the two-year-old document and present it to voters. Laverdiere and Wulleman volunteered to serve on the second Adult Use Marijuana Committee but their offer was never acknowledged, Wulleman said Friday.

The second committee included Town Manager Butch Asselin, Town Clerk Beth Olson, Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman, Police Chief Michael Ward, Fire Chief Paul Hewey and Selectman Sharon Jackson. They presented the proposed revisions Thursday night.

The public hearing on the revised document is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18, with a special town meeting for a public vote some time in March.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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: