Gardiner elected officials will decide this week whether to extend the temporary ban on allowing recreational marijuana-related enterprises in the city.

Like many other communities across Maine, Gardiner put in place a moratorium last year to give city officials time to consider whether they want social clubs and retail pot shops in Gardiner at all, and if so, where they should go.

When voters narrowly passed the state-wide referendum on legalizing recreational pot, they also paved the way for the foundation of a slate of pot-related businesses to launch in the state.

Because they are a new class of business, the land use ordinances for those cities and towns that have them did not take into account this class of businesses. They have put in place temporary bans to allow them time to draft proposed ordinances or consider whether to ban some or all of the businesses.

At the state level, Gov. Paul LePage has until Friday to decide whether to sign a marijuana bill adopted by state legislators in special session last Monday. While he has often opposed marijuana, it’s unclear whether he will veto the measure, which was approved by both houses of the Legislature, but not with enough votes to override a veto. The measure sets up a regulatory structure for the industry, with a taxing structure, residency requirements and limits on how much can be grown.

In Gardiner, a marijuana task force has been meeting since earlier this year to develop recommendations for the City Council to consider.

The current moratorium under which the task force is working will expire Friday. The task force is asking for additional days so that elected officials will have time to review its report and put any regulations in place.

On Wednesday, a public hearing and first read on the extension have been scheduled.

The City Council is expected to meet in executive session to discuss union contracts. Depending on the outcome of that meeting, the council may vote to accept the union agreement with Local 2303 of the International Association of Firefighters.

The council is also expected to:

• Discuss bringing The Wall that Heals, a traveling version of the Vietnam War Memorial, to Gardiner next summer;

• Consider a first read on changes to the land use ordinance on where and how in Gardiner chickens and bees may be kept;

• Approve City Council minutes.

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Gardiner City Hall, 6 Church St.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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