SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Two selectmen objected to discussing a moratorium on commercial marijuana Tuesday, saying the board had agreed to table the issue until the Maine Legislature makes decisions about regulating the commercial market opened by a statewide referendum vote at the November 2016 elections.
Board Chair Lydia Goetze opened the discussion of the agenda item under old business asking if the board wished to proceed with a moratorium, saying that because the development of regulations is stalled at the state level, it “comes back into our lap to regulate what we want to regulate.”
Selectman George Jellison was quick to point out the moratorium issue had been decided at an earlier meeting.
“Three weeks ago, we decided we wouldn’t act on this until the Legislature makes a decision,” he said. “I don’t think we need to talk about this right now. The Legislature is going to do something.”
Jellison then made a motion to table any discussion of the topic until July 1. Dan Norwood seconded the motion. During discussion, he said he agreed with Jellison.
“The frustrating thing for me is this is on the agenda when three weeks ago we discussed it wouldn’t be on the agenda,” he said.
“I guess it’s because that’s what the MMA [Maine Municipal Association] is advising us to do,” Goetze said in response. The selectmen’s packet for the meeting included updates from MMA on the issue.
Norwood was not swayed. He pointed out that he hadn’t seen any directive from the MMA.
Jellison said he was tired of spending time at meetings discussing unnecessary items when there is more important business before the town.
“This isn’t just about marijuana, in my opinion,” he said.
Selectman Ryan Donahue said he preferred to wait before discussing a moratorium again but was concerned that the board might want to act before July 1 if the Legislature approves regulations.
Jellison’s motion carried 3-2 with Goetze and Donahue casting the opposing votes.