The Wilton Board of Selectpersons holds a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 19, regarding a moratorium on cannabis licenses in the town. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

WILTON — The Wilton Board of Selectpersons voted on Tuesday, Sept. 19, to hold a special town meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, for a moratorium on cannabis licenses in the town of Wilton. The vote for the date came after a public hearing was held prior to the Select Board meeting.

At the public hearing, Town Manager Perry Ellsworth addressed to the audience in attendance what the intentions are with the cannabis moratorium.

“What this moratorium necessarily does,” Ellsworth said, “is it allows a group of people the opportunity for the next 180 days to work on the ordinance to bring it up to speed to what it ought to be.”

The moratorium will prevent any new applications for licenses to grow, cultivate and/or sell cannabis in the town of Wilton for a duration of 180 days. At the end of 180 days, the Select Board will have the option of extending it another 180 days if they see fit.

During this time, a special ordinance committee comprised of members of the Select Board and Planning Board will review their town ordinances regarding cannabis operations in the town of Wilton and bring them up to code.

Ellsworth established the moratorium will go into effect at the special town meeting on Oct. 17. According to Ellsworth, any new applications filed before Oct. 17 may be considered, but it would need to be seen by the Planning Board in some capacity before the moratorium goes into effect. Once in effect, all applications will be tabled until the end of the 180 days or a new ordinance is established.


The Select Board voted to have Town Manager Perry Ellsworth work with Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer, & Nelson, a New England-based law firm in Portland, to draft the moratorium at the last meeting in August.

Talks of a moratorium have been off and on since February when the licensing fees for various levels of cannabis operations were reduced in Wilton.

The moratorium defines two different types of uses: medical use and adult use. It uses the term “marijuana business” and the term includes medical marijuana cultivation facility, medical marijuana caregiver retail store, medical marijuana products manufacturing facility, medical marijuana testing facility, adult use cultivation facility, adult use marijuana store, adult use products manufacturing facility, and adult use testing facility.

Once in effect, the moratorium will prohibit Wilton to accept, process, or approve applications, including but not limited to business permits, building permits, certificates of occupancy, site plan reviews, conditional uses, or any other approval, relating to the establishment or operation of a marijuana business.

For more information on the special town meeting or the moratorium, contact the Wilton Town Office at [207] 645-4961.

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