The Damariscotta Planning Board gave final approval to the relocation of Greenport Cannabis Co. and approved a pre-application for the town’s first recreational marijuana business Monday, May 4.
The board conducted its preliminary and final review of the application from Mark Ferrero, owner of Greenport Cannabis Co., and held a public hearing, all by Zoom videoconference.
There were no public comments during the hearing and there was little discussion among board members about the application.
Greenport plans to move from a space at 202 Main St. to a space at 280 Main St. by June 1, Ferrero said in a phone interview Tuesday, May 5. He said the new location is more affordable and has more space available.
The move will relocate Greenport out of Damariscotta’s C1 district and into its C2 district, where town regulations allow cannabis businesses, with conditions. The C in C1 and C2 stands for commercial.
Greenport’s medical marijuana storefront in downtown Damariscotta is grandfathered because it opened prior to Dec. 13, 2018, when the opt-in clause for municipalities took effect, and because it currently holds a state-issued medical marijuana retail license.
Under amendments made to the town’s land use ordinance in November 2019, the town will no longer permit cannabis businesses downtown.
The space at 280 Main St. was formerly home to Healthy Lincoln County, which moved across the street to 281 Main St. at the end of 2019. The space would allow Ferrero to open a separate recreational cannabis establishment, although he said he is not sure if he will.
The planning board also approved a pre-application for Coastal Cannabis Co. LLC to open a recreational cannabis store at 53A Chapman St., which is behind Hilltop Stop and accessible from both Main and Chapman streets. There was little discussion.
David Page, co-owner of Coastal Cannabis, owns the building, where he also resides.
Page owns the business with Evan Morrison, of Somerville. Coastal Cannabis Co. will sell cannabis and CBD products, as well as accessories like rolling papers and pipes.
No manufacturing will occur on site. Morrison will grow the cannabis in Somerville, according to Town Planner Bob Faunce’s notes from an April 20 site visit. The board visited both Greenport’s future location and the proposed location of Coastal Cannabis on April 20.
Recreational, or adult-use, marijuana retail stores are a conditional use in the C2 district. The project requires site plan approval and a conditional use permit, Faunce told the planning board Monday.
When Coastal Cannabis would open is not clear, as the state has delayed issuing recreational cannabis licenses because of the coronavirus crisis.
Both Greenport and Coastal Cannabis have “substantial on-site parking” and will limit signage to their respective buildings. Neither has proposed changes to the exterior of the buildings, Faunce told the planning board.
“It appears to me to be a pretty ideal location for something like that – pretty low visibility, low impact to the general public,” Jonathan Eaton, chair of the planning board, said of Coastal Cannabis’ proposed location.
Coastal Cannabis’ plan will now go to a public hearing before the planning board, which will likely take place by videoconference June 1.