The Canton Caboose on Staples Hill Road was purchased in April 2020 by Kevin Belanger of Dixfield with the intention of operating a medical marijuana business and ice cream shop. The state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver said it’s been 10 months since the board told him they’d set a date for a town vote on allowing such businesses, and they’re now considering delaying it until November. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

CANTON — Russell Adams, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the board will decide Thursday on a date for a special town meeting on allowing medical marijuana businesses in town.

That decision would come nearly a year after Kevin Belanger of Dixfield, a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver, requested a vote.

In the 10 months since his request was granted in October 2020, Belanger presented the board with a citizen petition supporting medical marijuana businesses. In June, the board set the town vote for Aug. 23.

Town Clerk Carol Buzzell said in a Facebook post Wednesday that selectmen decided to delay that vote until a medical marijuana ordinance was drafted.

Frustrated with the board’s inaction, Belanger posted on Facebook last week that selectmen don’t care about voters because they’re now considering postponing the vote to November.

Belanger, who owns a medical marijuana business in Mexico, expressed his dissatisfaction with the delays in a post on “You know you are from Canton, Maine, if…” last week.

He wrote that he went to selectmen in March 2020 to ask if they would be support having a medical marijuana business at the Canton Caboose on Staples Hill Road and received their general approval. He purchased the building in April 2020 intending to continue with its traditional ice-cream shop, along with a medical marijuana store.

Belanger wrote in his post that the reason the vote has been postponed so many times is selectmen “don’t care about you, the voters, who signed the petition. I believe they despise those of us who choose to medicate with a natural plant. We are their stereotype. We are “pot heads,” “burnouts” and “troublemakers,” which is a ridiculous and uneducated perception. Even though you may have cast your vote for them, they are biased towards you, me, and everyone else who consume cannabis for medicinal purposes.”

Asked about the comments, Adams said last week that he does not comment on Facebook posts. “I don’t find it productive for anybody,” he said.


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