As Windham’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries expires this week, the Town Council is considering allowing no more than one dispensary to open there.

Tonight, the council will review a set of regulations developed during the past several months by the town’s Land Use Ordinance Committee. The council is expected to refer the matter to the Planning Board for a recommendation before deciding whether to adopt the rules, said Town Manager Tony Plante.

The state law on medical marijuana dispensaries, which took effect last year, allows eight clinics in the state, with one in Cumberland County. Northeast Patients Group has a license to open that clinic, but has yet to secure a site for it. The group has said it would like the dispensary to be in Portland.

Windham councilors in January enacted a six-month moratorium on dispensaries. The ban could be extended for another six months, Plante said.

Windham officials have said adopting regulations for dispensaries is meant to be a proactive measure.

“We wanted to make sure, if it comes to Windham, it’s put in the best place under the best circumstances,” said Jim Cummings, a member of the Land Use Ordinance Committee.

The ordinance that councilors will consider at their 7 p.m. meeting is based on one adopted in South Portland last August.

In addition to allowing just one dispensary in town, Windham’s proposed ordinance would limit its operating hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It also would require the clinic to be sited at least 500 feet from schools, child care centers, places of worship and parks. In terms of location, state law requires a 500-foot setback only from public and private schools.

When the ordinance committee first started working on the ordinance in March, it wanted to put restrictions on cultivation sites and medical marijuana caregivers, as well as dispensaries.

The town’s attorney, however, informed officials that state law only allows the town to further regulate the dispensaries themselves.

“It definitely changed the direction of the work we were doing,” said Brooks More, Windham’s planning director.

As a result, the proposed ordinance doesn’t address caregivers or cultivation sites that are separate from dispensaries.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: [email protected]