About a dozen Wayne residents approved a 180-day moratorium on the establishment of any recreational marijuana businesses Tuesday night at a special town meeting.
The law allowing recreational marijuana that Maine voters passed last November already includes a nine-month delay before the substance can be sold, and that delay was extended by another three months in a law signed by Gov. Paul LePage in January.
But Wayne officials proposed the moratorium — like their counterparts in towns and cities across Maine — so they can study whether any local rules should be put in place before recreational marijuana can be sold legally, or whether its sale should be banned, said Town Manager Aaron Chrostowsky.
“We just felt like we wanted to protect ourselves from the potential for retail marijuana development in town,” Chrostowsky said. “Now we have some time to adequately plan any ordinances to address our concerns.”
On Thursday afternoon, Chrostowsky did not have an exact count of how many residents attended the town meeting, but he said the moratorium was approved unanimously by about 13 voters.
The meeting “was very short,” Chrostowsky said.
In November, Wayne narrowly voted to oppose — in a 407-398 vote — the citizens’ referendum that legalized the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by Maine adults and eventually will authorize the sale of recreational marijuana.
While Mainers now may carry small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, according to the law, legislators are creating rules to determine how the sale of the drug should be regulated statewide.
Charles Eichacker — 621-5642