BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Bangor city council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to put a six-month moratorium in place if Question 1 is passed next week.
The moratorium would put a temporary ban on establishing marijuana-related social clubs and businesses in the city. Those that are open now that handle medical marijuana will not be impacted.
The decision now placing Bangor among several other Maine communities that have adopted six-month moratoriums in preparation for referendum passing.
Gray, Brewer, and Westbrook have all enacted similar moratoriums, and the town of Cumberland is currently considering one.
"I think it's worth it. Marijuana has been illegal since the 1930s, adding another six or whatever number of months to say alright how would this all work and what is the city's role. I think it's fair to take that time," Sean Faircloth said after Tuesday night's vote.
This temporary ban will allow city officials to have additional time to address any concerns they have on regulations for the city, including adjusting zoning and crafting ordinances.
Assistant City Solicitor Paul Nicklas compared the regulations necessary to those required for a bar as opposed to a liquor store.
"There is some gray area in the act about how fast some of these—particularly social clubs—could spring up into existence," Nicklas said. "The advantage of a moratorium is that it's very clear: we're not going to allow these until we've had a chance to regulate. So it sort of removes some of that uncertainty".
City officials have made it clear they are trying to get ahead of the issue—first meeting to discuss it back in August.
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