Wiscasset could soon see its first marijuana shops after voters on Tuesday approved rules to allow and regulate recreational and medical marijuana stores.

Voters during the town election approved an ordinance to license recreational shops by a vote of 337-296. They approved another ordinance to license medical shops by a vote of 364-268. The ordinances also allow for growing and testing facilities.

Tangerine Haze cannabis buds dry on a rack at Windhill Organics, a medical marijuana grow business in Warren. Gregory Rec / Portland Press Herald file photo

Business owners can immediately apply to open shops in designated areas along Routes 1 and 27, away from the village area and schools.

“Bringing in new business in general is something we’re always looking to do,” said Select Board Chairperson Sarah Whitfield. “Additional businesses that can contribute to the tax base is always good.”

No one filed an application to open a store Wednesday, but Whitfield said she knows of multiple people who have expressed interest. There’s a $500 application fee and up to $5,000 in town licensing fees for a single store or facility.

“Any extra revenue that comes into the town is a good thing,” she said.


The town’s Ordinance Review Committee proposed the marijuana ordinances after the Select Board conducted a study of 332 people in January 2022 that found 52% supported marijuana sales, with 44% opposed. The Select Board unanimously approved the ordinance proposals to appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

“I feel like we’ve done our due diligence, and we’ll see what happens,” Whitfield said.

Maine voters legalized the sale of medical marijuana in 1999 and the sale of recreational marijuana in 2016.

Whitfield said the town has moved slow to gauge residents’ tolerance for marijuana shops and develop regulations based on those in surrounding communities.

“This has been a pretty long process,” she said.

Wiscasset and some surrounding communities are devoid of marijuana stores; the closest ones are in Woolwich to the west, Damariscotta to the east and Boothbay to the south.

“It feels like there are a lot of recreational or medical marijuana storefronts on either side of town,” Whitfield said. “I’m curious to see how many (marijuana businesses) have interest in us.”

Voters on Tuesday also approved adding an economic development director to town staff, which Whitfield said can help with business development beyond new marijuana stores.

“We’re part of the oldest county in the oldest state,” she said. “We need to address business development to expand the property tax base.”

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