Recreational marijuana stores are on track to be a reality in Brewer.
City councilors approved a planning board recommendation at a Tuesday night meeting that will amend the city’s land-use code to allow adult-use cannabis stores.
The vote, which passed unanimously via consent calendar, means that recreational retailers will be able to open up shop in Brewer’s general business and professional business zones, while testing facilities will be allowed in the general business and industrial zones.
Medical marijuana facilities will also enjoy looser restrictions under the set of code changes. Setback rules governing how close they can be to schools, methadone clinics, day cares and places of worship will be reduced to 500 feet from an earlier rule requiring that they be 1,000 feet or more away.
Medical and adult-use facilities must be 100 feet away from existing private homes, and 500 or more feet away from each other.
Mayor Michele Daniels said that the ordinance would take effect in 30 days.
Until Tuesday night, the land-use code had only allowed one registered medical marijuana dispensary and one cultivation facility in Brewer’s professional business district, on Dirigo Drive. The new ordinance removes that limit and allows more shops to open up along that street.
Across the Penobscot River, a handful of marijuana retailers have opened in Bangor since Maine allowed recreational use sales last fall. And one shop is on track to open in Orono as that town sorts out what its final recreational marijuana ordinance will look like.
Recreational marijuana sales in Maine have grown since they were allowed last October, recording $10.2 million in sales in August.