2017-09-13 / Front Page

Board OKs permit for pot storefront

Stone Coast Cannabis exempt from Brunswick moratorium
BY DARCIE MOORE
Times Record Staff


THE BRUNSWICK PLANNING BOARD unanimously grants a special permit Tuesday to Stone Coast Cannabis for a medical cannabis storefront. 
DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD THE BRUNSWICK PLANNING BOARD unanimously grants a special permit Tuesday to Stone Coast Cannabis for a medical cannabis storefront. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK

The Brunswick Planning Board unanimously approved a special permit on Tuesday for a medical cannabis storefront in Cook’s Corner.

The applicant, Stone Coast Cannabis, isn’t in the clear yet. It has to wait for 30 days to see if the town council takes action on their special permit application. Planning and Development Director Anna Breinich said the council will look at the special permit on Monday and could either take no action or decide to exercise jurisdiction over the application and do its own review.

Stone Coast Cannabis is exempt from a six-month moratorium granted by the council last week for medical marijuana storefronts because its special permit application was submitted before the moratorium was enacted. Breinich said the moratorium will allow planning and development staff to take a more holistic look at zoning for this use while also looking at retail marijuana uses.

Stone Coast Cannabis plans to occupy 500-square-feet in an existing building at 220 Bath Road. Owners Michael Goldstein and Melissa Roberts are Maine Medical Marijuana Program caregivers and have served certified patients for more than two years.

Currently, caregivers meet with new patients in public places, “which is a little odd,” Roberts said.

The small cannabis storefront will offer patients a more secure and professional retail experience.

They also want to improve access to high-quality and affordably priced medical cannabis, as caregiver prices tend to be significantly lower than dispensary prices, Roberts said. They will offer a wide range of products to meet patient needs, but the core products are marijuana flowers, edibles and extracts.

Planning board member Robert Burgess asked what the difference is between a dispensary and storefront caregivers.

Roberts said storefront caregivers are more restricted in the size of their cultivation. She and Goldstein are restricted to 60 plants between the two of them. The law also limits Roberts and Goldstein to one employee each.

Goldstein said the caregivers can cultivate for up to five patients. Their product will not be grown in the building or ingested by patients while there. They may see up to 20 patients a day.

Dr. Carey Clark, a registered nurse who teaches nursing at the University of Maine at Augusta and is the president-elect of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, was the only member of the public who spoke during Tuesday’s hearing.

“I really think Brunswick in particular needs a business like is being offered here,” she said. “You can imagine being a patient — and the fastest growing population of patients are elderly people — and trying to get a medicine that has been recommended to you, but you can’t go to a pharmacy to get it. And so you’re kind of out there on your own thinking, ‘Where do I go to get this medicine?’”

She believes Stone Coast would allow patients in the community to access their medicine in a safe way and access a higher quality, more affordable product than dispensaries offer.

Stone Coast would help end the stigma around cannabis, Clark said, adding allowing patients easier access to a “medicine that will help them to heal and be healthy.”

While notice went out to abutting neighbors within 200 feet of the proposed site, none spoke at Tuesday’s hearing.

Planning board vice-chairwoman

Margaret Wilson asked the applicants if they’d talked to potential neighbors about the impacts of their business. Roberts said everyone in the building is in support of their storefront.

“We do promise to be good neighbors,” Roberts said.

Also Tuesday, the board unanimously granted special permits to Catherine Minnis of Blink for an eyelash extension salon at 51 Harpswell Road; and to artist Matthew Barter of The Barter Art House for an art studio and gallery in the carriage house on his property at 68 Cumberland St.

dmoore@timesrecord.com

In other action

ALSO TUESDAY, the Brunswick Planning Board unanimously granted special permits to Catherine Minnis of Blink for an eyelash extension salon at 51 Harpswell Road; and to artist Matthew Barter of The Barter Art House for an art studio and gallery in the carriage house on his property at 68 Cumberland St.

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