Topsham voters will consider three nonbinding referendum questions on Election Day related to whether the town should allow retail marijuana sales.

If there is enough support to move forward, an ordinance governing use would likely go before residents at a town meeting next May.

Chairman Dave Douglass said at a Board of Selectmen meeting last month that “if the citizens of Topsham don’t want (retail marijuana sales) from the beginning, before we even establish rules, we shouldn’t be tying up time on it.”

Voters will be asked whether they want to allow medical marijuana to be sold in a retail venue, to permit recreational-use marijuana to be sold to adults in a retail setting, and to allow marijuana to be commercially grown.

At a town meeting in May 2017, voters adopted a temporary moratorium on retail marijuana sales. That freeze has since been extended and expires Dec. 6.

Residents at the town meeting this year voted against banning retail marijuana establishments. Towns are allowed by state law to prohibit retail establishments, but not medical marijuana dispensaries.

Since a municipality must authorize retail sales, selectmen want residents’ input on whether Topsham should opt in, Town Manager Rich Roedner has said.

Public hearings would likely only draw a small number of people, whereas November’s gubernatorial vote should bring many residents to the polls, he noted.

Alex Lear can be contacted at 781-3661, ext. 113, or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: learics

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