The Vassalboro Select Board meets virtually Thursday evening. Screengrab.

VASSALBORO — The town’s select board unanimously approved a revised version of the marijuana business ordinance at a virtual board meeting Thursday evening.

The ordinance is subject to the town’s approval at Town Meeting on June 7. In summary, it says marijuana business are prohibited in Vassalboro, unless they were in operation or the board received a sketch plan showing the location of the premises on the property and a floor plan of any buildings before Thursday.

Town Attorney Kristin Collins advised the board that the ordinance should maintain definitions of allowed and not allowed businesses in the ordinance.

“We can draw a distinction between X and Y based on definitions,” Collins told the board.

“I just figured if it was right up front, people would know that adult and retail stores are not allowed,” select board member Barbara Redmond replied.

Vassalboro’s original marijuana business ordinance was enacted Jan. 9, 2017. It, like the new one, prohibited retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs.

The proposed revised ordinance does not prohibit registered caregivers, and the town does not require a license for them as long as a registered caregiver is not operating out of a cultivation facility.

For existing marijuana businesses to continue operating, the revised ordinance says businesses must maintain a license and follow other rules in the ordinance. Existing marijuana businesses have 60 days from the adoption of the ordinance to submit applications for a license. Selectmen issue licenses and the town manager renews them, according to the revised ordinance.

Businesses can be sold and may stop operation for a maximum of six months.

“The reason to do that is constitutional law, so someone is not deprived from making a profit,” Collins said.

Licensing fees are to be determined and will be adopted by the Select Board at a later date.

Although the ordinance will not be enacted right away, it will be retroactive to Thursday’s date, Feb. 18, 2021. However, new businesses will not be able to open before the Town Meeting on June 7.

“I like what you’ve done; I like where you’ve gotten to,” resident Tina Wood told the board.

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