Work Continues on Recreational Marijuana

In an effort to get a handle on recreational marijuana in Winthrop there are lots of people either working on ordinances, a potential ballot question or a  moratorium.

The town does have a moratorium banning pot shops, it expires on Dec. 31. A request was sent to the attorney general’s office asking for an extension.

Town Manager Austin Faison said he has heard back from attorney general’s office, but has to confirm the legal opinion with an outside attorney.

“Long story short, the moratorium will be extended. We just need to choose an election date that everyone is comfortable with,” Faison said.

The Planning Board is working on zoning ordinance language to safeguard the town in the event a ballot question to ban recreational marijuana shops fails. The Board met Monday night to go over language, including a section that would ban a shop from within 500 feet from a school, child care facility and potentially parks and beaches. Given those overlays it appeared that only the boatyard/Belle Isle area might be farthest out.

All of the Planning Board discussions are preliminary and nothing has been set in stone. Discussions will continue at its next meeting.

Chairman David Stasio said he would like them to have something by December.

There is also a signature drive going on to get the question of pot on the ballot and the Town Council’s Rules and Ordinance Subcommittee will take up any wording of a ballot question. That committee was expected to meet last night, Oct. 24, at 5:30 p.m. in the Harvey Hearing Room to discuss a question. There will most likely be a report at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

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