CHINA — The town’s select board may look at drafting an ordinance regulating retail marijuana businesses after too few people showed up at a special town meeting Saturday to consider a moratorium on the issue.

The warrant for the meeting on Saturday proposed enacting an ordinance that would place a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana retail stores, establishments and social clubs. The town needed 126 registered voters to gain a quorum and hold a meeting, but only 93 people attended, according to town clerk Becky Hapgood.

Select board Chairman Neil Farrington said the board will discuss possible next steps at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at the Town Office.

Residents probably saw the news that the state is delaying retail sales until February 2018 and decided a local moratorium wasn’t necessary, Farrington said.

But Farrington is wary that lobbyist money from out of state could seep into the process of creating regulations, he said.

A possible next step is asking the Planning Board to draft an ordinance on recreational marijuana establishments, he said.


The proposed moratorium falls in line with what many other towns and cities across the state have already done, enacting moratoriums to delay the arrival of marijuana establishments after the passage of referendum Question 1 legalized recreational marijuana.

The state has also passed a bill that delays retail marijuana sales until February 2018 to give state agencies more time to create regulations for the new industry.

While China Town Manager Dan L’Heureux said the select board knows this bill makes the issue less time sensitive, it still wants to ensure that there isn’t a way for people to apply for a permit to start a marijuana business.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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