GEORGETOWN, DE – As several Sussex County towns firmly reject the prospect of legalizing marijuana within their borders, officials in Georgetown are taking a different stance. The Mayor and Town Manager drafted an ordinance that could pave the way for a limited number of marijuana businesses within the town.
Mayor Bill West says he wants to get ahead of what could eventually be a federal approval of marijuana.
“By putting these rules into place, we’re saying that, yeah, we don’t like it, but here’s what you’ve got to stipulate to, here’s what you’ve got to do if you want to come to Georgetown,” says West.
The proposed regulations include allowing only two retail establishments, both mandated to be situated in the town’s commercial highway zone. Additionally, the ordinance would regulate operating hours and impose strict guidelines for trash cleanup. West believes that these measures will strike a balance between embracing change and maintaining order within the community.
Local business owner Michael Oxbrough voiced his support for the idea, highlighting the potential economic benefits for the area.
“I’m happy that Georgetown wants to be a little bit progressive on this,” says Oxbrough. “That’s actually a good thing.”
Stephanie Deleon, an employee at a local smoke shop, echoed this sentiment, advocating for the legalization of marijuana. She commented, “I think it should be allowed. You hardly ever see or hear any problems with it. It’s always usually harder drugs or alcohol in general.”
However, not everyone in Georgetown is convinced. Charlie Koskey, a local jeweler, voiced concerns about the potential impact on the town’s youth.
“The concerns that I really have are the exposure to our children,” says Koskey. “It’s a big burden that I think the town’s going to really have to examine, and our town leaders are hopefully going to make the right choices.”
Following their discussion, the town council submitted the drafted ordinance to the town’s planning commission. West says there will eventually be a public hearing. Feedback from that hearing will help the council make a decision.
As Georgetown stands at the crossroads of this divisive issue, the town finds itself grappling with the potential opportunities and challenges that come with embracing the cannabis industry. The future of marijuana in Georgetown remains uncertain, but the community is undeniably engaged in a crucial conversation about its role in the town’s evolving landscape.