GRAY — The Town Council has scheduled a public hearing for Jan. 22 on a proposal to prohibit medical marijuana manufacturing and testing facilities in town.

The proposed changes to zoning ordinances also clarify the applicability of current standards regarding the prohibition of retail sales of marijuana.

Town attorney Alyssa Tibbetts and Community Development Director Doug Webster presented the first reading of the proposed changes at the council meeting Jan. 8.

“Under this proposed ordinance, all medical marijuana activities other than registered caregivers are prohibited. Registered caregivers are allowed because they cannot be prohibited, by statute, by a municipality,”  said Tibbetts, of the law firm Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry. 

“The statutes say if you want to allow a use, you have to have an ordinance that expressly allows that use in order for someone to engage in it within your municipality,” she said.

Both the state medical marijuana law and the state adult use marijuana law have been significantly altered within the past year. Webster told the council in the fall that those changes “increased home rule authority for municipalities in Maine” to make “policy decisions for the town.”

Councilors raised questions about cultivation, security measures and the location of existing caregiver operations. 

The town has a six-month moratorium on retail and medical marijuana uses in place, which will expire Feb. 4. 

A public hearing and a second reading of the proposed ordinance changes will take place Jan. 22. 

The council also scheduled public hearings and second readings for Jan. 22 on issues including proposed amendments to the Gray Street ordinance clarifying driveway standards and proposed amendments to the fireworks ordinance. 

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected]