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Cannabis growing planned for former Crowe Rope building

By Daniel Dunkle | Apr 29, 2021
Appleton Town Office

Appleton — Bowen Smith has filed an application for Site Plan Review with the Planning Board for a medical cannabis growing operation in the former Crowe Rope Building at 55 Pine Grove Lane.

The board began the review April 12.

At the April 27 Select Board meeting, Ben Dorr, who owns the 4,176-square-foot building with Alex Domenico, introduced himself to members of the board and asked if they had any questions for him.

He said the plan is for two small grow rooms in part of the building, which is near the cemetery. He estimated it would take up about a sixth of the building.

The project is going to the Planning Board for approval for an interior remodel of the existing warehouse.

Dorr said Thursday via email: "Bowen’s project is really a micro grow, just two small cultivation rooms and it will be sold under his medical license to his registered patients, but there will not be a storefront in that building, or any sales happening in that building."

The building is also used for storage for Camden International Film Festival and studio space. In addition, an old printing press is being restored there.

Dorr also noted that at one point a group of people used the facility to stage a play, which he said was “quite an endeavor,” though he added it ended up making a neighbor angry.

Select Board member Lorie Costigan expressed support for the growing plan, saying this would be a great use of the existing building.

Chair John Fenner said he did not have concerns at this time. He said at one point the party, perhaps referring to the play, did cause some concern, but he saw that as a one-time thing.

The building has been around for a long time. Before it was the Crowe Rope building, it was a chicken barn.

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