EDGECOMB, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Throughout Maine, cities and towns are grappling with how to regulate the recreational use of marijuana.
A special state committee charged with implemented rules for this new industry is still at work. Many communities are waiting for that work to be completed before deciding how to proceed on a local level.
In one Midcoast community, town officials are asking residents directly how they would like to see legal marijuana regulated.
In the Town of Edgecomb, committee members charged with drafting rules for legal marijuana sent out more than 600 letters and questionnaires asking people what they’d like to see.
“We felt it was a fair way to help guide us as we create the regulations”, said David Nutt of the Ordinance Review Committee.
The questionnaires go beyond just retail sales, asking citizens if the town should regulate all aspects of the legal marijuana industry.
“Do we allow retail sales, do we allow cultivation, do we allow testing, do we allow social clubs in our town”, said Nutt.
Nutt says eventually he’d like to see each of those items decided individually by voters.
Residents think the questionnaire is a much better idea than trying to get people to come out to a public meeting.
“Because nobody would show up at the meeting. Edgecomb is just one of those towns where people don’t normally go”, said resident Beth Pinkham.
Nutt agrees. He says they’ve gotten back about a third of the questionnaires they sent out.
“I think it’s significantly more convenient because we never would have gotten 222 responses from people physically coming to a question and answer session”, he said.
Residents would vote on the final ordinance proposal in May. State officials are now saying it’s likely retail sales won’t begin in Maine until next summer at the earliest, giving this town plenty of time to get its rules and regulations in place.