When the Gardiner City Council meets Wednesday, it will consider changes to Gardiner’s land use ordinance that will allow pot-related enterprises to operate inside city limits.

Maine voters narrowly approved making possession of limited amounts of pot for personal use legal in November 2016. Approval of the referendum also allowed for the creation of a number of cannabis-related businesses in Maine, including commercial production facilities and retail stores.

Gardiner voters, however, narrowly rejected legalization; 1,604 residents voted no, while only 1,464 voted yes.

In the ensuing months, as state lawmakers worked to reach agreement on what to regulate and how, cities and towns took actions of their own. Some decided early on to ban any pot-related enterprises up front.

Others, like Gardiner, put in place a series of temporary bans to allow state lawmakers to complete their work in setting up the new marijuana marketplace and to create statewide regulations, while also taking time to figure out how they should be regulated locally.

Gardiner’s proposed ordinance change outlines where within city limits enterprises like cultivation facilities for adult-use and medical marijuana are allowed as well as where manufacturing and testing facilities are allowed.

For instance, a marijuana nursery cultivation facility could be permitted after review in rural, mixed-use village, planned highway development and in-town commercial zoning districts.

Marijuana retail stores would be allowed in the traditional downtown, Cobbossee Corridor, mixed-use business, planned highway development and in-town commercial zoning districts.

“There were more questions early on,” Gardiner Mayor Patricia Hart said Tuesday. “I haven’t had that many questions recently.”

Community organizations like Healthy Communities of the Capital Area have been interested in ensuring that the area’s youth are considered and protected in any rule-making, Hart said.

And over the years, people have been interested in finding locations for cultivation facilities, she said.

The Gardiner City Council is also expected to consider:

• Approving liquor license renewals for the Depot Pub and the Gardiner Sportsmen’s Club following public hearings.

• Approving the first read on proposed changes to the city’s land-use ordinance on commercial solar arrays following a public hearing.

• Approving the second and final read of the proposed food sovereignty ordinance following a public hearing.

• Approving a tax increment financing district for Central Maine Crossing following a public hearing.

• Approving a request from the Gardiner-area school district for a gift of gravel.

• Discussing the traffic lights at the intersection of Water and Church streets.

• Consider a contract amendment with Hoyle, Tanner & Associates Inc. for work at the wastewater treatment facility.

• Consider nominees for the Spirit of America award.

An executive session is scheduled for the end of the meeting to discuss a poverty abatement.

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


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