December 15, 2018
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Old Orchard Beach enacts moratorium on retail pot stores

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Cars roll by on East Grand Avenue in Old Orchard Beach in this BDN file photo.

The town of Old Orchard Beach has enacted a moratorium on medical marijuana retail storefronts.

Town officials say there has been interest from the business community in establishing medical marijuana storefront retail businesses in Old Orchard Beach and other municipalities in the state.

“This type of activity is not directly addressed by state law and is not explicitly covered by the town’s medical marijuana ordinance,” said town officials in written Town Council commentary.

Council unanimously voted Feb. 6 to enact the moratorium. The moratorium expires after 60 days, and can be renewed by the Town Council.

Town Manager Larry Mead said Tuesday night that the moratorium will give the town time to work on an ordinance to regulate such businesses.

“We have a responsibility to protect the town and to make sure we are taking steps to do it correctly,” said Town Council Chairman Joseph Thornton.

Last month the town approved a prohibition of retail commercial marijuana businesses. Though Maine voters approved the use of recreational marijuana in a November 2016 election, the state has not yet come up with rules regarding recreational marijuana businesses.

Town officials said they did not want to consider an ordinance allowing commercial marijuana businesses until the state came up with regulations.

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