Casco board hears lawmakers on pot law

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — It is not a matter of if but when.

That age-old adage holds true to the recreational use marijuana legalization law that goes into effect next year.

In this case, the jackpot question is where?

The “what” is marijuana retail shops; and those will crop up in towns around Maine. The “where” is something towns will be able to control with thoughtful, proactive land use policies. In most cases, towns can take time to create those policies after putting a marijuana moratorium in place.

The Casco Board of Selectmen heard from the district’s representatives in Augusta during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

“You will have local control,” State Rep. Sue Austin said. “I cannot encourage you enough to try to get ahead of this legislation,” she said.

“It is not going to be easy. We are grappling with it as we speak,” she said.

Austin suggested pulling together with area towns and holding a workshop on moratoriums and what the legislation will mean for the Lake Region.

“It is important for you to get ahead of this. It is not whether you will have retail but where,” Austin said. “It is where: Not near schools, day cares, churches. Where in this town would you feel safe with some of these facilities going in?”

Prior to Austin taking the podium, Rep. Jessica Fay spoke to the selectmen.

“The big issue is the marijuana legalization implementation. There was a hearing today [Tuesday] on the bill that we will be voting on in special session,” she said.

“For Casco, there is a lot of local control built into that bill,” she said.

“There is a wide range for you to tailor what you want. That is the good news. The bad news is Casco wants to decide what it wants to do,” Fay said.

Please follow and like us: