WINDHAM — The majority of town councilors said Tuesday night that they would be open to allowing recreational marijuana stores in town.

Municipalities have the power to decide individually whether they will permit the sale of recreational marijuana. The Town Council debated that question at its Nov. 19 workshop and continued discussing proposed changes to the Land Use Ordinance regarding marijuana.

Windham currently has nine medical marijuana stores, and councilors proposed having 10 stores total, both recreational and medical.

Councilor Dave Nadeau suggested cutting back on the number of medical marijuana stores and limiting the number that would sell recreational marijuana.

Councilor David Douglass asked Nadeau, “Do you want to start limiting convenience stores? Supermarkets? Gas stations?”

“There’s 50% of the people in this town that did not support recreational marijuana,” Nadeau replied. “Somebody has to sit here and support them. I’m supporting the other 50% of the people that said no.”

Windham voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, 51.5% to 48.5%.

“Right now, (marijuana) is a schedule 1 drug at the federal level, and it is illegal. I’m not going to support recreational (marijuana) in the town of Windham,” Councilor Rebecca Cummings said.

Council Chairman Jarrod Maxfield, Vice Chairman Tim Nangle and Councilors Nick Kalogerakis and Douglass supported allowing recreational marijuana stores to set up shop in Windham, while Councilors Clayton Haskell, Cummings and Nadeau did not.

Approximately two dozen people attended the meeting, all in support of recreational marijuana stores.

“It would be a disservice to the tourists that come to town to not allow adult use,” said David Whitten, owner of Sticky Bud Farms, a medical marijuana dispensary.

The proposed marijuana-related changes to the town Land Use Ordinance stem from a June meeting when councilors discussed various marijuana enterprises. In October, the Council considered the drafted ordinance language, which would allow six new types of marijuana businesses in various districts: cultivation facility for recreational use, manufacturing facility for recreational use and medical, testing facility, caregiver retail store, medical marijuana registered caregiver and medical marijuana registered caregiver (home occupation).

Councilors Tuesday also discussed where they would like to permit cultivation facilities.

The majority of councilors did not support having cultivation facilities in the farm, farm residential or commercial district 1 zones. Councilors seemed open to allowing the facilities in the industrial and enterprise development districts.

Attorney Kristin Collins, of the town’s law firm Preti Flaherty, said that at the council’s next meeting on Dec. 3, she will present some new ordinance language for councilors to consider, and councilors can discuss how many recreational marijuana stores they would like in town.

Afterwards, the proposed ordinance will be sent to the Planning Board for review and a public hearing, then back to the Town Council for final approval.

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