The Ordinance Rewrite Committee started preliminary discussions on recreational marijuana this week. They discussed how the city is going to address the new retail marijuana businesses, retail shops and social clubs. The committee is made up of six members.
Doug Ide believes that Hallowell is “very ripe for retail establishments and social clubs that would change the character” of it, according to Central Maine. The committee will discuss zoning requirements, cultivation ordinances, manufacturing regulations and signage rules. Rudy wishes for the Marijuana Task Force to provide the committee with framework guidelines to start with.
Members of the committee include:
- Kate DuFour – former Councilor
- Lynn Irish – current Councilor
- Michael Frett – current Councilor
- Nate Rudy – City Manager
- Doug Ide – Code Enforcement Officer
- Pamela Perry
Rudy said, “I would ask you to define the roles between the committee and the Marijuana Task Force. Or else you’ll have a lot of meetings that aren’t going to generate good content.”
Hallowell enacted a 6-month moratorium regarding recreational marijuana businesses. They want to discuss zoning and settle on those regulations before proceeding. Some committee members don’t think the Marijuana Task Force is making much headway.
Irish mentioned that when the task force meets regarding recreational marijuana, “there’s more and more issues that come up.”
The task force has discussed zoning within city limits and if recreational marijuana cultivation is agricultural, farming or manufacturing use. Rudy believes that the state will classify recreational marijuana as manufacturing. Some of the task force agreed with the perception.
Irish thinks that the new industry will be classified under ‘controlled environment agriculture’ when outside grows are present. The city’s zoning rules would classify it as light/moderate manufacturing.
Manufacturing isn’t allowed in rural Hallowell. Commercial and retail establishments are allowed. The rural areas are ideal for growing marijuana since they are a distance from the densely populated part of the city.
On May 22, the Marijuana Task Force will continue its discussion on regulations. The rewrite committee meets again in June.