The Damariscotta Planning Board approved a site plan review application from Coastal Cannabis Co. LLC on Monday, June 1. The company is on track to become the town’s first retail shop for recreational cannabis.
Next, the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen will schedule a public hearing to consider a retail sales application from Coastal Cannabis.
David Page, co-owner of Coastal Cannabis, said in a phone interview Tuesday, June 2 that even when Damariscotta fully approves his shop, he will have to wait for the state to begin issuing licenses for adult-use, or recreational, retail establishments.
Therefore, he does not know when the shop will open. He is trying to work with the town to delay payment of his license fees until he can open the business.
Damariscotta has set its license fees at the highest level in the state, matching Auburn. The fee schedule includes an initial and annual fee of $5,000 for each adult-use retail or registered caregiver store and a one-time $500 application fee.
The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy has indefinitely delayed the rollout of adult-use cannabis businesses, originally planned for June, because of the COVID-19 emergency.
Page said he has already received a conditional state license that has enabled him to continue the approval process for Coastal Cannabis at the local level.
The Damariscotta Planning Board held a public hearing by Zoom videoconference on Monday. No one attended to comment on the application. The board then quickly moved through the approval of the application.
Coastal Cannabis will be at 53A Chapman St., which is behind Hilltop Stop and accessible from both Main and Chapman streets. The primary entrance will be on Chapman Street. Page 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. At the Monday meeting, Town Planner Bob Faunce confirmed that Morrison will grow and process the cannabis in Somerville.
The site has plenty of parking, Faunce said.