CANTON — The Planning Board presented a draft ordinance governing medical marijuana stores to selectmen Thursday night.

The document will go to a public hearing and then a vote by residents by the end of August.

Last month, 55 people signed a petition requesting a special town meeting to vote on allowing a medical marijuana store in town. Selectmen agreed to the request.

“Right now, we’ve written (the ordinance) to regulate retail establishments,” Planning Board member Diane Ray told selectmen. “So, the state can issue a conditional license to anybody, but the town has to opt in.”

Municipalities and counties have to agree to allow an adult use marijuana business in a town, plantation or township.  Those governing officials could opt-in for different tiers of allowed marijuana growth and different types of marijuana commercial entities, as outlined under state law. The state handles the planning and licensing of a cannabis-related business.

“The town can opt in one of two ways,” Ray said Friday. One is with a vote by the residents and the other is with an ordinance. Applicants must be registered and licensed by the state, she said, and the town can add more conditions through its ordinance.

“I think it was felt that besides just a yes or no, we’re opting in or opting out,,” Ray said, the board took the position that it should put an ordinance before voters so if they choose to opt in, they have some regulations to give a sense of control of a business.

Ray said Friday that the Planning Board is meeting Thursday to hopefully finalize the ordinance.

In another matter, selectmen chose Boondocks Farm of Canton to mow town properties for $40 per hour. The only other bid was from T-Lakes Lawn Care of Jay for $70 per hours.

Canton Selectman Carole Robbins, left, accepts a copy of the Congressional Record in which U.S. Sen. Susan Collins congratulated the town on is bicentennial this year. It is presented by Collins’ represenative, Karen Staples, at Thursday’s selectmen meeting. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Also at the meeting, Karen Staples, a representative for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, read a statement the Maine Republican entered into the Congressional Record on Jan. 22 congratulating Canton on its 200th anniversary. It read it part, “Canton was built with a spirit of determination and resiliency that still guides the community today, and this is a time to celebrate the generations of hardworking and caring people who have made it such a wonderful place to live, work and raise families.”

A copy of the Congressional Record with Collins’ remarks was presented to the town.

Canton was incorporated Feb. 5, 1821, separating from the town of Jay. A bicentennial celebration is scheduled Aug. 5 to 8 with fireworks, a parade, a street dance, entertainment and food. For more information go to 1821Canton2021.org.


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