TOPSHAM

Pot moratoriums are the main subject of a special Topsham Town Meeting on Wednesday.

Residents can consider re-adopting the existing moratorium on retail marijuana establishments and stores and retail marijuana social clubs. Also on the agenda is an ordinance amendment to allow blue business signs.

The town adopted the first, six-month moratorium in May and can only extend it another six months. It was approved in order to give the town time to develop ordinances governing the location and operations of retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana stores and social clubs.

These uses were legalized statewide in November 2016 with passage of the Marijuana Legalization Act. The moratorium prevents any proposed projects allowed by the new law while the town works to update its ordinances.

The Maine Legislature has not yet approved a system for governing recreational marijuana.

Voters will also consider an emergency moratorium on medical marijuana storefronts Wednesday. Medical marijuana storefronts are a new concept under the town’s zoning. They are not specifically regulated under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.

Topsham has now seen a medical marijuana storefront open “via a loophole in our existing zoning ordinance,” states the proposed emergency moratorium ordinance.

This moratorium will allow the town to review regulations being considered by the state, its own ordinances, and develop a law governing the location and operation of these storefronts.

Topsham voters will also be asked to consider changes to the town code to allow official business directional signs in colors other than green. The state and federal government have developed new rules requiring blue sign backgrounds.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Topsham Public Library.



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