NORTH YARMOUTH — An overwhelming majority of respondents surveyed about marijuana businesses in town said they would allow them in certain areas.  

The survey was conducted by the North Yarmouth Economic Development & Sustainability Committee in April 2020.

The results were presented at a workshop with the Select Board, Planning Board, and Economic Development Board in late September. Of 344 responses, 61% said they would allow retail businesses with the appropriate zoning. The rest of the results followed a similar trend, with 67% approval of cultivation, 73% approval of laboratory testing, 73% approval for research facilities, and 64% approval for manufacturing, all assuming appropriate zoning is determined beforehand.  

In an October Planning Board meeting, Vanessa Farr, an economic development and planning consultant, presented the four types of marijuana businesses considered in the survey that could also be discussed at a future Town Meeting: retail, cultivation, testing and manufacturing.  

“We will look at and consider what performance standards will be necessary in specific zoning districts based on each of those four categories,” Farr said. “And then ultimately when it gets presented at a town meeting, we would do it in a series of warrant articles so people could be deliberate about which components of the cannabis industry that they would or would not like to see in the town.” 

Farr and Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Keith are working on a draft document to present to the Planning Board for review in the new year. The document will include how marijuana businesses are now regulated in Maine, the results of the survey taken by community members, and best practices to customize regulations with North Yarmouth’s best interests in mind, according to Farr.

After the Planning Board review, the Select Board will prepare recommended regulations for potential town approval, according to Town Manager Rosemary Roy.

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