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Voters agree to enter marijuana market

By Stephanie Grinnell | Jun 05, 2019
Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell Outgoing Selectman Mark Humphreys, left, accepts a plaque from Selectman Zack Hollingshead.

Northport — A year ago, Northport residents decided against prohibiting retail marijuana in their town, and at the polls this week, a straw vote revealed what types of marijuana businesses could be allowed.

During voting June 1, residents — in a non-binding vote — came out in favor of entering the medical and adult use retail marijuana market by a significant margin. Town Clerk Amy Eldridge announced the results at the annual town meeting June 3.

Eldridge said residents approved several types of marijuana businesses, including cultivation facilities, testing, manufacturing and adult-use retail sales. The town does not list a local ordinance regulating marijuana on its website.

During town meeting, about 50 residents moved efficiently through the 55-article warrant in less than 90 minutes and did not make any changes. Few questions arose about the municipal and school budgets.

School Committee member Mark Lynch reminded residents that the school budget still must be voted on at the polls Tuesday, June 11. He noted a second question asks if residents wish to continue the validation referendum vote.

“You all voted in tremendous detail on the budget tonight,” Lynch said. “But you still have to vote on it.”

Several individuals were recognized as well. The town’s Spirit of America Award will be presented to Patty Wright of Northport Food Pantry at a later date, as she was not able to attend town meeting. Outgoing Selectman Mark Humphreys was presented with a plaque thanking him for his service to the town. Selectman Zack Hollingshead said, “Mark has been an exemplary leader. … a good leader, a good listener.”

Humphreys spoke briefly.

“It’s not a one-man show … it truly takes a village to run a village,” he said.

Town officials count written ballot votes to approve the school budget as moderator Lee Woodward looks on. (Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell)
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