China residents will vote on three municipal referendum questions on marijuana retail sales, fund appropriations and a land purchase in Tuesday’s election.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the portable office next to the Town Office.

Residents will vote on whether to ban recreational retail marijuana establishments and social clubs in China more than six months after referendum Question 1 legalized marijuana for recreational use in Maine.

The outcome of the November vote makes it legal for people 21 or older to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use. It also allows the establishment of recreational marijuana retail stores, growing facilities, testing facilities, product manufacturing facilities and social clubs.

The state has enacted a moratorium to delay retail sales of pot until February 2018 while a committee works to complete rule-making and clear up potential loopholes. Many Maine towns have enacted their own moratoriums for good measure, and some, such as Oakland, have voted to ban the establishments and retail sales altogether and become a “dry town.”

In the Nov. 8 election, most who voted in China were against legalizing recreational marijuana, 1,172-1,317.


Because the referendum question passed statewide but didn’t pass in the town, Town Manager Dan L’Heureux said the select board wanted to let residents vote on whether to allow the businesses in China.

The Board of Selectmen previously held a special town meeting in January to vote on enacting a moratorium on the businesses so that the town would have time to enact ordinances regulating them. The meeting failed to gain the necessary quorum of 126 registered voters to discuss the item, sending the selectmen back to the drawing board.

Residents also will vote on whether to appropriate $25,000 toward installing a septic system for the emergency preparedness shelter at 571 Lakeview Drive.

This is the final step the board needs to take to turn the space into a fully functioning shelter, L’Heureux said.

“They’ve done small, incremental steps to keep the expenses down but to move in the direction of being able to handle unforeseen emergencies,” he said.

The money would be taken from the town’s unassigned fund balance, so it wouldn’t affect the tax rate.


Finally, residents will decide whether the town should buy 2 acres for $12,000 for possible future development.

The land, which has an assessed value of $18,000, is bordered by a town road and a town-owned parcel. It’s adjacent to the Town Office lot, making it an ideal location for any future town construction.

L’Heureux said the lot could be used for a future community center, a library or an emergency response center.

“At some point in time the town’s going to have to convene the strategic planning group again,” he said. The comprehensive plan is now about a decade old.

The land purchase money also would be taken from the unassigned fund balance, not affecting taxes.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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