JAY  — The Select Board will consider a recommendation to change the property setback distance in the marijuana ordinance at their meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Town Office.

Voters approved the ordinance to allow and regulate adult use marijuana cultivation facilities and adult use marijuana products manufacturing facilities Nov. 2, 2021, by an 805-608 vote. The ordinance does not allow retail stores.

No one has applied for a permit for either, Code Enforcement Officer Ronda Palmer said Friday.

The setback rule requires businesses to be 200 feet from property lines and 1,000 feet from schools.

Resident Mark Mancini of Treetop Crops of Maine requested the ordinance and would like the setback rule changed.

Selectpersons sent the request in March to the Marijuana Committee, which reviewed the ordinance recently and recommended reducing the setback to 100 feet from a dwelling or commercial facility on an abutting lot, according to Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere wrote in a memo to the board.


LaFreniere and Palmer attended the committee meetings but did not have voting privileges.

“Our legal counsel expressed concerns regarding this,” LeFreniere wrote.

It was not about the town’s legal ability to reduce the setback but more about nuisance complaints due to odor that might be anticipated with the reductions. “The attorney reiterated that the changes discussed are really policy decisions on how the town wants to allow (or) restrict activities rather than questions on legality of the setbacks,” she wrote.

The committee is now recommending the Select Board consider reducing the setback to 50 feet from a property line and requiring a minimum 5-acre lot.

This change would apply to the three types of activities allowed under the existing ordinance — manufacturing and indoor and outdoor cultivation.

If the board accepts the recommendation, staff would work with the town attorney to draft an amendment and warrant article for consideration at the polls Nov. 5.

If the board doesn’t, Mancini could choose to go through the petition process to have it amended.

Members on the Marijuana Committee are Selectpersons Tom Goding and Gary McGrane, resident Trudy Marshall and Planning Board members Mike Fournier and Barbara Cook.

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