Town officials forgot to publish in a newspaper the warning of a vote in March on whether to allow cannabis retail sales in the community. “In the months following, we have had conversations that we may have wanted to separate the two portions — allowing for retail sales and allowing for integrated licenses,” Select Board Chairman Greg Meulemans said in an email response to the Reformer. “We had several options; let it be, hold another vote to ratify the previous vote or as we decided, to have another vote to separate the two.”
Meulemans and Town Clerk Sara Wiswall said the outcome of the vote scheduled for Oct. 19 will supersede the first, where residents voted 51-37 in favor of allowing cannabis retail sales in town. Because the article was never warned in a newspaper, Wiswall said, the vote is “basically null and void if anyone wants to challenge it.”
Wiswall said one of the biggest advocates in town also called for a revote, wanting to separate out the integrated licenses portion. An integrated license covers all five licenses available — cultivator, wholesaler, product manufacturer, retailer or testing laboratory.
Fran Janik of Jamaica wants residents to vote in favor of retail sales but against integrated licenses because he believes they favor corporations currently running medical cannabis dispensaries in Vermont instead of mom-and-pop shops. He’s a cannabis grower whose involvement in legalization efforts in Vermont dates back more than a decade.
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