WATERVILLE — City officials want to place a 180-day moratorium on dealing with requests for marijuana-related operations so the city can have time to research appropriate places for such activities and decide what restrictions should be placed on them.

City councilors on Tuesday will consider voting to adopt a moratorium ordinance for marijuana-related facilities. They must take two votes to adopt the moratorium and may take only one vote Tuesday.

In a related vote, the council will consider referring to the Planning Board a request to recommend to the council appropriate locations for marijuana-related businesses and appropriate restrictions for them.

The meeting, which also will include a vote by councilors about whether to sell part of The Concourse to Colby College for $300,000 so Colby can build a dorm there, will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center downtown.

The city in 2010 adopted a 180-day moratorium on marijuana-related operations or consideration thereof. Councilors on Tuesday will consider re-adopting that moratorium, which would go into effect Tuesday. Under state law, municipalities can approve temporary moratoriums for up to 180 days while they work on developing more permanent ordinances or regulations to address an issue.

According to the proposed moratorium, marijuana-related businesses include dispensaries, cultivation operations and storage places. The moratorium, if adopted, would defer issuance of licenses or permits to marijuana-related facilities by prohibiting city boards, agencies and officials from accepting or processing applications and/or issuing authorizations, permits, licenses and approvals for marijuana-related facilities for 180 days.


Waterville’s discussion comes at the same time the town of Starks is considering a moratorium or an ordinance regulating the establishment of medical marijuana businesses. Starks’ move is in response to an informal proposal to open a marijuana research laboratory in town.

Waterville City Manager Michael Roy said Monday that no one has asked to put a marijuana-related operation in the city, but officials want to be prepared to deal with the issue if that occurs.

Only eight marijuana-related dispensaries or clinics are allowed in the state and eight are in operation now, he said. In order for Waterville to have one, the state Legislature would have to approve an increase in that number, he said.

“However, individuals are allowed to dispense marijuana products if they’re identified as a ‘personal caregiver,’ and that allows them to have a storefront — a location — and so in the talk that went on here, there was concern expressed about a storefront happening on Main Street,” Roy said.

“The intent is not to prevent it from happening everywhere. The intent is to put it in what we think are the best places, one of which would not be downtown,” Roy said.

He said city officials, including city councilors, have expressed opinions that downtown Waterville would not be an appropriate place for such a facility. In 2010 when the council adopted a moratorium, councilors said they did not want one downtown.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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