RIDGEFIELD \u2014 Voters overwhelmingly approved an ordinance prohibiting marijuana businesses in town, ending a debate that began last year when Connecticut opened the door to cannabis sales. Residents voted 144-43 to ban marijuana sales at Wednesday\u2019s special town meeting, which followed the third public hearing on the issue and preceeded a Board of Selectmen meeting. Crowds filled the conference room at the Town Hall Annex on 66 Prospect St. A line also extended out the door and into the hallway. Residents were instructed to write \u201cYes\u201d or \u201cNo\u201d on a purple paper ballot and then drop their vote into a ballot box. Votes were counted and results read later into the meeting, which lasted three hours. Of those who voted, 77 percent supported the ban. In April, by a vote of 4-1, selectmen voted to prohibit cannabis business. In September, the Planning and Zoning Commission passed a one-year moratorium for marijuana businesses, which covers 11 different types of business uses relating to recreational cannabis, including producers, cultivators, retailers, manufacturers, delivery services and transporters. Since the state legalized recreational marijuana in July 2021, many municipalities have been holding meetings and debating on this topic. Newtown didn\u2019t waste any time with its decision \u2014 in a 4-1 vote, the town prohibited cannabis establishments on the same day the state made it legal. Brookfield approved a one-year moratorium on cannabis establishments. Last month, the city of Danbury approved recreational pot establishments. However, there\u2019s already been a request to change the cannabis ordinance, pertaining to the minimum required distance of 200 feet between cannabis retail sales and a neighborhood. A public hearing is set for Oct. 11 to address that topic. Cannabis sales are expected to begin in Connecticut at the end of this year.