With seven marijuana-related enterprises in operation in the city and as many as five more in the works, city officials are planning to discuss whether Gardiner should impose a limit on the number of such enterprises when the City Council meets Wednesday.

Gardiner Mayor Patricia Hart discusses her agenda for the city on January 19 at the Gardiner Food Co-op. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

Mayor Patricia Hart said Monday she’s talked to city residents and business owners, and received a number of phone calls from people concerned about the potential number of cannabis businesses interested in opening in Gardiner.

Concern about the number of marijuana-related enterprises in Gardiner have surfaced in recent online meetings, with residents posting comments and concerns online about the number of pot-related businesses in the city.

Currently, Gardiner has six medical grow facilities, some of which may change to adult-use; one medical retail dispensary; a medical retail business that has been approved by the Planning Board and is not yet open; and one adult-use retail business that has been approved by the Planning Board but is not yet open.

Two medical/adult use retail businesses are expected to go before the Planning Board in August, and a third medical/adult use retail business is expected to submit an application to the Planning Board.

At Wednesday’s meeting, city elected officials will also consider whether to approve a business license for Herbal Pathways LLC, which is planning to open a retail shop at 35 Bridge St.

Owners Kenneth and Debra Crowley have secured a conditional license from the state Office of Marijuana Policy and are undergoing Gardiner’s approval process.

Earlier this year, the council approved changes to the city’s Land Use Ordinance and imposed licensing requirements to be prepared for the launch of the adult-use marijuana marketplace in Maine.

Under the current process, cannabis related businesses must first go to the state for a provisional license before seeking local approvals.

David Heidrich, director of Engagement and Community Outreach at the Office of Marijuana Policy, said Monday that the state has imposed no limits on the number of licenses for adult-use business or registrations for medical-use registrations the state issues.

The statewide market has not yet launched. Heidrich said no date has been identified, but noted that Erik Gundersen, OMP’s director, has told state revenue forecaster to expect marijuana sales tax revenue this year.

Some communities, like Hallowell, have imposed limits on the number of shops allowed in specific areas. Others have said they won’t allow any marijuana businesses at all.

In 2016, Maine voters narrowly approved legalizing marijuana in a statewide referendum. In Kennebec County, though, public sentiment did not support legalization. Only Waterville and Hallowell voted to support it; most communities voted against, including Gardiner, where the vote was 1,470 to 1,615.

The City Council is also expected to:

• conduct a public hearing and consider voting on the first read on proposed amendments to Marijuana Establishment Licensing Ordinance.

• conduct a public hearing and consider voting on the first read of proposed amendments to the Mobile Food Vending Units in the city’s code of ordinances.

• schedule a second public hearing on the proposed discontinuance of a small portion of Commerce Drive in the Libby Hill Business Park.

• conduct a public hearing and consider approving an adult-use business license application for Herbal Pathways LLC.

• conduct a public hearing and consider granting a new liquor license to West Street Neighbors LLC, doing business as Lisa’s Legit Burritos.

• consider approving a victualer’s license for Ruby’s Place.

• consider disposing of a 2007 GMC plow truck.

• consider setting hours that City Hall will be open to the public.

• appoint Kennebec Valley Council of Governments official representatives.

• consider the Maine Municipal Executive Committee slate.

• accept criminal forfeiture funds and a handgun.

• review and accept meeting minutes from June 17, June 24, July 22 and July 29.

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m., Wednesday, via the online platform Zoom, and the meeting will be aired on Facebook Live on the city’s Facebook page.

For those wishing to take part in the public hearings on Zoom, please contact City Hall at 207-582-4200.

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