The Dresden Planning Board unanimously approved an application from Nature’s Summit Medical Cannabis, a retail shop and cultivation facility at 1011 Gardiner Road, Monday, Oct. 5.
Nature’s Summit owners Dennis and Tracy Meehan have operated the business in Gardiner since 2016. They are moving to Dresden because they need more space for greenhouses and parking.
Nature’s Summit sells medical marijuana as well as a variety of CBD products, including topical medications, edibles, dog treats, and coffee.
The Meehans started the business after Dennis Meehan suffered a spinal injury that left him with nerve damage and pain throughout his body. He was on a wide variety of medications and the dosages caused him to have a stroke, he said during a site walk Sunday, Oct. 4. After the stroke, he stopped taking all of his medications and switched to medical marijuana, which he credits with improving his quality of life.
The Meehans plan to build six greenhouses, each 60 feet by 120 feet, over multiple years, including one or two in their first year.
Jeff Pierce, chair of the planning board, said the Meehans must have a best management practices plan for pesticide use per the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, even though the Meehans do not use pesticides.
In addition to cannabis, they will grow herbs and organic mushrooms in the greenhouses.
They plan to drill one well near the back of the property, where the greenhouses will be.
Dennis Meehan said he does not expect the smell of marijuana to bother neighbors.
The Meehans believe a variety of healing methods can help patients, and Dennis Meehan told the board at a Monday, Oct. 5 public hearing that they incorporate energy healing, music, and massage into their business.
Dennis Meehan is also a musician and has a performance area set up in the barn. He plans to have musicians perform at customer appreciation events a few times per year.
Erica Atkinson, a teacher at Dresden Elementary School, expressed concern about the business during the public hearing.
Atkinson said the building is the first people see when entering Dresden from Pittston, and she does not feel a medical cannabis shop is the best representation of the town. She also expressed concern that the facility would grow and sell recreational marijuana in addition to medical marijuana.
Dennis Meehan said they will only grow and sell medical marijuana, while Pierce said there is no ordinance regarding representation of the town.
Dennis Meehan said they have not had any problems with security in the past, and they have multiple security cameras on-site. He said their daily number of clients varies, but the clientele is mostly elderly.
The Meehans must display their state licenses inside the shop and the business is subject to state inspection.
Pierce said he would give the Meehans a conditional use permit Wednesday, Oct 7. The Dresden Board of Selectmen will consider their application for a new business permit at an upcoming meeting.