Pittston town officials have postponed a special town meeting that had been scheduled for Wednesday to consider a proposed moratorium on marijuana-related businesses in town.

Instead, a public hearing now is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1 to consider an outright ban of those businesses, and a special town meeting to vote on that is now scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8.

Both the ban and the temporary ban will appear on the warrant, as well as proposals to discontinue maintenance on two roads.

The proposed new ordinance would expressly ban shops, cultivation facilities and facilities that make marijuana products; retail testing facilities; and social clubs.

“We were thinking we would give ourselves some time to figure out what to do,” said Jean Ambrose, a member of the Pittston Board of Selectmen, explaining the request for a six-month moratorium. But at last week’s public hearing, the residents who attended appeared to be leaning toward a complete ban.

“No one has been very vocal about it,” Ambrose said, adding that the Town Office has not been fielding calls about it.

Last Saturday, a three-question poll went up on the town’s website. The questions are:

• Do you think that recreational marijuana retail operations should be completely banned in Pittston?

• If not completely banned, do you think that recreational marijuana retail operations should exist in Pittston with certain allowances and limitations?

• Are you a resident of Pittston?

Peter Coughlan, who manages the website for Pittston, said that as of Thursday, 94 people had voted and the vast majority of them were town residents. Of those, 52 percent voted for a ban, 45 percent voted against, and 3 percent had no opinion. Fifty-three percent of those who participated voted “yes” when asked if they favored regulating marijuana enterprises, 39 percent voted “no” and 8 percent had no opinion.

Coughlan said he saw a strong uptick in votes in the last few days.

In November, Maine voters narrowly voted to legalize personal use and possession of limited quantities of marijuana by voting yes on Question 1; with that vote came the option to allow retail shops and social clubs.

But Pittston voters didn’t endorse legalizing marijuana, also by a relatively narrow margin. The vote was 778-917.

Like officials in every other city and town considering their options, Pittston officials are waiting to see what state officials will do. Ballot Question 1 gives the state nine months to develop regulations governing commercial operations, but that deadline might be extended under a bill introduced earlier this month.

Pittston has posted the proposed ordinances on its website, pittstonmaine.org.

In addition to the pot ban, voters will be asked whether to discontinue maintenance on the southern end of Ripley Road, beginning at the junction of Ripley and Clay roads and heading south to the Kennebec River; and on Bailey Road.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: