LISBON — The Town Council agreed Tuesday to discuss limiting the number of marijuana businesses in Lisbon during a future meeting at the request of several residents.

The Council approved permits for two new marijuana businesses Tuesday.

During a public hearing on one of the proposed businesses, Paul Griesbach asked the council whether they would consider placing a moratorium on marijuana businesses. He expressed concern for the culture of the town and whether the cannabis operations might squeeze out other small businesses.

“Cannabis can come in with a lot of money, I think, and outbid people,” he said, referring to small business owners. “So I don’t know if it’s a fair playing field. We may regret that in the future.”

Griesbach said he did not see any issue with the proposals up for discussion or the current number of marijuana businesses in town, but was worried for the future.

Emily, who lives on Pine Street, said she recently moved to the area and hopes to one day raise a family in Lisbon. She spoke in favor of a moratorium.


“I think there is a delicate balance between adult-use businesses versus businesses that anyone can walk into,” she said. “When you start to have too many of those adult-use businesses, whether its cannabis or a myriad of other types of uses, it starts to become uncomfortable and like a place that families, teens, children don’t really feel like they belong because those businesses aren’t geared toward that demographic.

I think we’re at a tipping point.”

Leon, a resident of Main Street, also spoke in favor of a moratorium.

Neither Emily nor Leon shared their last names with the council.

At least two councilors spoke in favor of limiting marijuana businesses.

If a moratorium is enacted, it would prohibit new marijuana businesses from opening in Lisbon for 90 days.


“We appreciate you bringing it up tonight,” Town Council Chairman Fern Larochelle said. “It sounds like there’s enough interest on (the) council to at least bring it forward as a discussion to see if there’s another look that needs to be done.”

The Planning Board previously spent two years crafting a marijuana ordinance and considering limits related to marijuana businesses, according to Larochelle.

William Kuhl, chairman of the Planning Board, cautioned the council that ordinance necessitates that marijuana businesses be geographically concentrated.

“They’re going to be concentrated,” he said. “They have to be.”

Larochelle responded saying he believes that a future discussion would center on the number of businesses allowed.

In other news, Christine Cain was appointed to the Town Council to fill a vacancy left by Cliff Miller. Miller resigned from the Town Council in May due to “unforeseen circumstances related to his business ventures.”

Cain will complete the first year of Miller’s three-year term. The town will hold an election in November to determine who will complete the remaining two years.

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