WINSLOW — The Town Council has voted to approve the first reading for a moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments, and it discussed renewing a lease with Orion Ropeworks at the town’s industrial building.

The councilors voted Monday night to enact a moratorium because the state has not finalized the rules and regulations for recreational marijuana establishments, which include retail stores, cultivation facilities and social clubs, according to Town Manager Mike Heavener. The council also would have to amend the town’s ordinance to allow for such businesses and discuss potential restrictions. The moratorium will give the council 180 days to do that, Heavener said, and it can be extended by the council as it sees fit.

The Nov. 8 vote on Question 1 made it legal for those 21 or older to use or possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use. It also legalized recreational marijuana businesses, such as stores, growing facilities and social clubs.

However, a number of Maine towns are enacting moratoriums on the establishments and some have even banned them, becoming “dry towns” for recreational marijuana.

The council also discussed its lease with Orion Ropeworks, a rope manufacturer, which will expire June 30. Heavener said the town will renew the lease, which has the potential to generate $2.3 million in revenue over five years. The space was appraised previously at $2 million.

In other business, the council voted to let the town sign an agreement with Lisbon for reimbursement of a police officer’s training costs. The Winslow Police Department is hiring Ellen Stewart, who graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy three years ago.

State law mandates that the hiring town must pay the officer’s previous town for training costs, which amount to $18,000 in this case. Heavener said this usually saves money because the department doesn’t have to pay someone overtime for filling in for an officer who is attending training. The council waived the second reading of the order.

The town also accepted a donation from the Douglas and Rita Sukeforth Charitable Foundation for the Winslow Fire Department.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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