ORONO – No licenses have been granted for recreational marijuana shops in Maine but towns like Orono are already starting to draft ordinances.
Town councilors met Monday night to talk about how they would regulate retail locations.
“We’re trying to take a really slow approach to the marijuana ordinances,” said Cynthia Mehnert, town council chair. “We’ve been doing a lot of education and now is our first take at draft ordinance language.”
The draft that was discussed touched on things like zoning and signage.
“We don’t really want anything in the heart of downtown,” said Town Planner Kyle Drexler. “But other commercial districts like the C-1 District or Economic Development Zone would be districts we’re more focused on.”
Council members said they want to keep stores inconspicuous by setting rules about the size and placement of signs in the ordinance.
“What we’re trying to do is make it look more like a retail store, not a major marijuana establishment,” Mehnert said.
She also said interested businesses have already approached the town, even though applications are not yet being accepted.
“It really seems the more the business owners work with the town or city, and the more the businesses fit in with the character of the community, the better situated it becomes in the community and area,” Drexler said.
The draft discussed Monday night did not include language on licensing or permitting.