CANTON — Residents on Tuesday approved allowing medical marijuana stores by a vote of 77-51.

An ordinance governing them passed by a vote of 81-48.

The approvals come 11 months after the board granted Kevin Belanger of Dixfield a request for a vote in October 2020.

Following the approval for medical marijuana stores, Belanger thanked voters in a Facebook post. “It’s been a long process and wouldn’t have happened without your support. I’m at a loss for words. Very, very grateful!! I’ll be a positive contributor to the town,” he wrote on the Facebook page ‘You Know You are from Canton, Maine, if …’

Belanger, a state-licensed medical marijuana caregiver, owns a medical marijuana business in Mexico. He purchased the Canton Caboose in April 2020, a month after he approached the board about his plan to operate a medical marijuana business and an ice cream shop there and received their general approval, he said.

After waiting more than a year after buying the property and a vote was still not scheduled, in June he presented the board with a citizen petition supporting medical marijuana businesses.

The board decided in August to schedule a vote Sept. 28 and include a vote on an ordinance to regulate such businesses.

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