Town Manager Perry Ellsworth, left, discusses with Selectpersons organizing an ordinance committee on Tuesday, July 11. Also pictured are current Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri, center, and former Chairperson David Leavitt, right. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — The Wilton Select Board has formed an ordinance committee to tackle cannabis ordinances and other outstanding ordinance issues. The committee, which features two members each from the Wilton Select Board and Planning Board, is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 20, at the Wilton Town Office.

Wilton Select Board members Keith Swett and Mike Wells will represent the Select Board while Dr. Michael Parker and one other undisclosed member will represent the Planning Board. The date of their was meeting was set at the Wilton Select Board meeting on Tuesday, July 11.

The committee to reevaluate cannabis ordinances comes after Town Manager Perry Ellsworth opted to form a committee over putting a moratorium into effect.

Ellsworth lamented to the Select Board last month that the process for crafting a moratorium was lengthy and it would be beneficial for the Select Board to bypass the moratorium and assemble the committee to get to the heart of the problem.

“We can have this [ordinance] written before that time,” Ellsworth stated.

Ellsworth had suggested a moratorium to the Select Board twice before moving away from the idea. His reasoning for the moratorium was due to the number of pending applications for cannabis businesses for retail, growth and/or cultivation. After reducing the rates for retail licenses in February and reducing the rates for growth/cultivation in March, Wilton has found itself a hot spot for the cannabis industry in western Maine, which the Select Board wants to fix before it gets out of control.


Ellsworth stated that the committee was initially intended to review the cannabis ordinances, but the committee can expand to other ordinances that are in need of review.

At the Wilton Select Board, Ellsworth directed Swett and Wells to look over any ordinances they want to tackle first and send those to him for their first meeting. “We’ll have our first meeting to get together to start conversation about any changes that may need to be made if need be,” he said.

Swett asked Ellsworth if there was an end goal for the committee.

“I think we need goals,” Swett said. “Otherwise, when I’m reading it, I’m just going to be looking for things in that ordinance that don’t comply with other ordinances, or issues with spelling or sentences.”

“I think we need an endpoint to get to and then we revamp it,” he added.

According to Ellsworth, there are several businesses that, even after the reduction have not paid their licensing fees. However, he maintains the town has no right to shut them down. Swett disagreed, stating their primary ordinance gives them that authority.


“That’s his thought, that’s not my thought,” Ellsworth responded.

“I think holding a meeting to discuss what the goals and objectives are seems prudent,” Chairperson Tiffany Maiuri stated. “I would add into that, part of the reason that I also believe that we need to look at this ordinance as well is that there is no teeth behind it. There’s no consequences.”

She continued, “I’m suggesting at the first meeting, that would be an organizational meeting where you do talk about what the goals and objectives are.”

The first meeting will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 20. It is unknown if the meeting will be open to the public, and if so, whether the public is allowed to comment. Those with questions should reach out to the Wilton Town Office at [207] 645-4961 for more information.

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