PITTSTON — Pittston officials have scheduled two public hearings for this week to review updates to the building code ordinance and the proposed medical cannabis ordinance.

Both ordinances are to be on the warrant Saturday, March 19, for the annual Town Meeting.

The public hearings are planned for the Town Office at 38 Whitefield Road, serving as forums for residents to have questions answered ahead of a vote on the town warrant.

The proposed medical cannabis ordinance has been developed by the town’s marijuana policy review committee. The public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, and is to include discussion on processing, cultivating, processing, storage, sale and distribution of medical marijuana in Pittston.

“We started the committee about a year and a half ago, and spoke with some of the medical marijuana growers in the town,” said Mary Jean Ambrose, chair of the Pittston Select Board. “When (Select Board member) Kerri (Ferris) came along, she took the outline and developed it into an ordinance that reflected it. The feeling is they didn’t want commercial medical marijuana growing to go on in town.”

Ambrose said under state law, Mainers are able to use marijuana recreationally because it has been decriminalized. Communities, however, must opt into the retail sale of the drug.


The proposed ordinance stipulates Pittston’s goal for medical marijuana is to mitigate potential impacts on surrounding properties, retain the town’s character and establish a structure to defray administrative and enforcement costs associated with application processing and ordinance implication.

The ordinance would set limits for medical cannabis facilities and be “intended to clarify the town of Pittston does not approve” of the presence of a retail marijuana facility, registered dispensary, marijuana testing facility or a manufacturing facility at this time.

If voters were to approve the proposed medical cannabis ordinance, growers who were already operating in the community would have to complete a business approval form within 90 days of the vote and submit it for the Pittston Planning Board’s approval.

Although growers can cultivate their own marijuana, they cannot sell it, according to the proposed rules.

The public hearing on the updated building code ordinance is set for 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. The proposed ordinance seeks to modernize language from when the ordinance was last updated in the early 1990s, according to Ambrose.

The main change to the building code would be additional language for tiny homes, which requires the houses to be no more than 400 square feet; meet all of the state’s plumbing, electrical, waste and water requirements; and meet all state requirements for means of leaving the dwellings, including bedroom windows that are at least 5.7 square feet.

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