In Richmond, where voters essentially split this month on legalizing recreational marijuana, town officials are moving to enact a moratorium on marijuana retail shops and social clubs.

At its Dec. 7 meeting, the Board of Selectmen is expected to review both a draft ordinance and a draft special town meeting warrant for a required townwide vote on placing a temporary ban on considering applications for the retail businesses that were authorized Nov. 8 in the statewide marijuana referendum, Question 1.

Town Manager Janet Smith said the Planning Board is expected to hold a public hearing by the end of December, and the special town meeting could be scheduled for January.

With that, Smith said, she and the Board of Selectmen hope to learn where town residents stand on the issue of retail shops and social clubs.

As written, Question 1 allows adults to legally possess as much as 2½ ounces of marijuana. That and the ability to grow six plants in their homes for personal use would remain unaffected by the moratorium.

While Question 1 also makes provisions for retail shops and social clubs, where people could gather to smoke or otherwise consume marijuana, it also allows for cities and towns to impose regulations on those operations or to ban them outright.

In Richmond, 978 residents voted for Question 1, while 936 voted against.

“We’re trying to get input,” Smith said Tuesday. “With the no votes, was it because of the shops and the social clubs? And it’s the same with the yes votes. Were they fine with the recreational marijuana and not the clubs?”

As the process has been outlined by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, citizen initiatives like Question 1 go into effect 30 days after the state certifies and the governor proclaims the results. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is tasked with putting rules in place to govern retail shops and social clubs, and it has nine months to do so.

The board hashed over the need for a temporary ban during two meetings this month. Initially, it wasn’t convinced, but at its Nov. 22 meeting, the board set in motion the process to put the question before voters.

“I don’t care if people have to go to Brunswick or Gardiner to buy the recreational marijuana. It doesn’t bother me,” O’Neil LaPlante, board chairman, said at the meeting last week. “But if we have to give in on this, if someone wants to have a club, I think it’s going to have to be a hefty sum. Having a social club for marijuana is like having a bar. We’re going to have to seriously sit down and think about it.”

“We have to put it on now,” Selectman Robert Bodge said. “We need the moratorium.”

Selectman Ryan Chandler said depending on who shows up to vote, town residents could shoot down a temporary ban.

“Well, we can still regulate it,” LaPlante said.

In the meantime, a statewide recount has been requested by opponents to Question 1, because Maine voters approved the measure by a very slim margin. That recount, by the Maine Secretary of State’s Office, is scheduled to begin Monday. State officials say the recount could take several weeks to complete.