BRUNSWICK — A temporary ban on retail marijuana stores, facilities and social clubs, and medical marijuana storefronts was extended for six months.

With Councilor Sarah Brayman absent, the Town Council voted unanimously Nov. 6 after testimony by Melissa Fochesato, partnership director at Access Health and Substance Abuse Prevention.

The council’s vote to extend the marijuana moratorium came after the Maine House upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the recreational marijuana bill, adding more uncertainty to future distribution of the drug statewide. The last time the council voted to extend the moratorium was in May.

Chairwoman Allison Harris said the extension will allow councilors to consider any changes made to state regulations between now and spring, though both she and Town Manager John Eldridge expressed doubts that the marijuana legislation would be finalized by then.

“I don’t think there’s any expectation that the Legislature is going to move quickly on this,” Harris said.

Fochesato said she’s concerned about the impact not extending the moratorium could have on local young people and urged the council to consider them in its future decisions.

“We have differing opinions, but all agree on protecting youth,” she said. “I encourage the council to be cautious as we move forward.”

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