WINDHAM — After multiple meetings and public hearings, four postponements and one resignation, the Town Council approved marijuana licensing and land use ordinances on Tuesday.

The licensing ordinance passed 5-2, with Councilors Dave Nadeau and Clayton Haskell voting no, and the land use ordinance passed 6-1 with Haskell against.

Windham voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016 and councilors first discussed how to regulate marijuana businesses last June.

The licensing ordinance approves seven types of marijuana businesses: adult use marijuana retail store (two storefronts will be allowed); marijuana cultivation facility, marijuana manufacturing facility, medical marijuana registered caregiver (cultivation conducted on-site), medical marijuana registered caregiver (home occupation, cultivation not conducted on-site), medical marijuana caregiver retail store and marijuana testing facility.

The nine existing medical marijuana retail stores in town will be grandfathered in to the land use ordinance. At the March public hearing, Chairman Jarrod Maxfield said that if those nine go out of business, only four of the licenses will become available, in addition to two adult-use licenses, for a total of six storefronts.

Several members of the public at Tuesday’s meeting disapproved of the point system that the ordinance uses to award licenses. The ordinance awards one to three points if an applicant has operated a marijuana business in the town of Windham without any violations, and one point if they have operated a marijuana business in Maine, outside of Windham.


“I personally wouldn’t pass it. I think it has a lot of flaws,” said Charles Hawkins, who owns Maine’s Alternative Caring, a medical marijuana dispensary on Roosevelt Trail.

Maxfield said no one is completely happy with the ordinances.

“To me that kind of tells me that we’ve found something in the middle that’s a fair compromise that gets us started. And hopefully as a council we won’t just pass this and forget about it, that we’ll come back and review it incrementally and see what’s working or not so we can change it,” he said.

The existing businesses in town will not be grandfathered in to the licensing ordinance, but will be given priority when applying. Maxfield the point system will not affect the process for those existing businesses.

The latest version of the ordinance removed the provision that would require applicants to be Maine residents, which reflects the state’s decision to drop that requirement after it was sued by Wellness Connection of Maine.

Haskell said he remains steadfastly opposed to allowing any marijuana businesses to set up shop in Windham.


“I’m going to side with the kids from the schools that don’t like going down the main street and seeing all the signs for marijuana stuff,” said Haskell, who has consistently voted against all marijuana ordinances.

Maxfield responded by saying that “this council inherited these stores sitting there. They’ve been there for years. The people that sat in our seats before us knew they were there, did nothing about them, did not regulate them. And this council has grabbed it by the horn … And this gives us the ability to (regulate).”

In February, Councilor Rebecca Cummings abruptly resigned at a meeting, saying, “I cannot be a part of a board that approves (marijuana).”

The land use ordinance passed as it was recommended to the council by the Planning Board, with 1,000-foot setbacks from schools and 250-foot setbacks door-to-door from day care facilities.

Kristen Collins of Preti Flaherty law firm in Augusta said the licensing ordinance will take effect 30 days from the date of the vote, on June 25. New businesses will have 30 days to apply for a license and existing businesses have 60 days.

The council also voted to extend the existing moratorium on land use for marijuana cultivation facilities for another 30 days, until June 25.

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