TREMONT — A public hearing to get input on a proposed ban of the commercial sale of marijuana in the town has been scheduled by selectmen.
The Sept. 18 hearing begins at 6 p.m. at the town office meeting room.
Selectmen scheduled the hearing in a 4-0 vote at their Aug. 24 meeting after a brief discussion on the issue.
Town Manager Dana Reed raised the question, asking selectmen if they wished to regulate marijuana sales in the town. The town’s zoning ordinance does not address some of the concerns that follow in the wake of legalization approved by voters in November, he said. As a result, Tremont could become “the de facto” place on Mount Desert Island for marijuana businesses, he said.
Reed said selectmen could either do nothing, ban commercial sales, regulate certain aspects of medical marijuana or regulate both commercial and medical marijuana.
“I know it’s probably unpopular, but I think we should do something,” said Selectman McKenzie Jewett.
During discussion, selectmen decided to forego regulating medical marijuana.
“Commercial marijuana [sales] makes a lot of sense to me,” said Chairman Kevin Buck.
Jewett suggested letting voters decide.
“Maybe that’s the best thing to do, say ban it and put it before voters,” she said.
The proposed ordinance would prohibit the retail sale of marijuana in the town. That includes retail marijuana stores, cultivation facilities, facilities that manufacture marijuana products, testing facilities and social clubs.
The ordinance would go into effect immediately upon voter approval at a town meeting.