Three years ago, Maine lawmakers passed a food sovereignty law that allows cities and towns to lift the requirement for state licensing and inspections on direct-to-consumer food sales.

The law was seen as a way to make it easier for people to sell produce or homemade foods to their neighbors.

Since then, communities across the state, including Augusta, Litchfield, Mount Vernon and Randolph have approved food sovereignty ordinances.

Now, Gardiner may join those communities. On Wednesday, a public hearing has been scheduled at the City Council meeting to take public input on the proposal.

As drafted, the proposed ordinance would allow for direct producer-to-consumer sales of food or food products produced in Gardiner. But it would require producers to post a notice that the products being offered have been exempted from state licensing and inspections.

Gardiner’s Ordinance Review Committee had identified three different approaches: Taking no action and allowing vendors to sell their goods, allowing vendors to sell only at farmers markets or allowing sales at a wider range of venues.


The committee is sending the second option to the City Council for consideration.

Tracey Dejardins, economic development director and planner for Gardiner, said the city’s Ordinance Review Committee has been working on the proposal at least since she started in her position last year.

“This was something that came up and it made sense to do it,” Desjardins said.

Elected officials are also expected to consider:

• Approving sending proposed amendments to the Land Use Code addressing the treatment of marijuana establishments to a first and second read

• Approving sending proposed amendments addressing the treatment of solar arrays to the Land Use Code to a first and a second read


• Sending two tax-acquired properties out to bid

• Approving the Maine Service Center Coalition 2020 resolution for membership and appointing a voting delegate representative and alternate

• Approving Spirit of America nominations

• Approving a license for Deja Brew that would allow them to sell food

• Approving appointments to boards and committees

• Setting a date for a public hearing for the proposed Central Maine Crossing TIF District

• Approving minutes for the Jan. 22 meeting.

Two executive sessions are scheduled for the close of the meeting, one on an economic development matter at the Libby Hill Business Park and one on an economic development matter for a property on Summer Street.

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

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