Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 9, 2017
Surry votes to ban retail marijuana
by Monique Labbe
Voters in Surry voted in favor of five retail marijuana prohibition ordinances on Election Day, November 7, with 558 casting their votes.
The proposed ordinances addressed cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, social clubs, testing facilities and retail stores.
The ordinance addressing cultivation facilities had the closest decision margin, with 293 votes in favor of prohibiting the facilities and 260 votes against the prohibition.
In regards to manufacturing facilities, 314 voted in favor of prohibition, while 236 voted against the prohibition.
The ordinance to prohibit social clubs won voter approval with 315 votes in favor and 187 votes against.
Residents voted in favor of prohibiting testing facilities, with 317 voting in favor of prohibition and 232 voting against.
The final ordinance, regarding retail stores, gained 338 votes in support of prohibition, while 214 voted against.
Selectmen had originally proposed one ordinance prohibiting all retail marijuana operations but, after a September 20 public hearing, drafted five separate ordinances and changed the voting format from special town meeting to Election Day referendum ballot.
Personal use, cultivation and possession is still permitted by state laws, under the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act and Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.