Rockland OKs second downtown marijuana shop

By Stephen Betts | Oct 01, 2019
Photo by: Stephen Betts Rockland Planning Board members take a brief tour Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 1, of the building at 696 Main St., where Highbrow will operate. The board spoke with owners Kristine and Charles Doherty IV (left).

Rockland — A second medical marijuana store on Main Street gained unanimous approval Tuesday night, Oct. 1, as supporters sang thr praises of the owners of the business.

The Rockland Planning Board voted 4-0 to approve the application for Highbrow at 696 Main St., the former site of a C.N. Brown gas station. The City Council must still issue a permit for the business.

The building will undergo interior renovations and the work is expected to be complete by the end of December. The operators will be Kristine and Charles Doherty IV.

There will be 24-hour recorded surveillance. Air filters will be installed to prevent odors from leaving the building.

Kate Miller spoke on behalf of the proposal, saying resistance to the project is based on fear. She spoke about how marijuana has benefited two family members -- one with an opiate addiction and another with ALS.

She said the city should be open to this type of business.

Code Officer John Root read a letter from neighbor Rita Lichtman of Rockland Street, who said she supports the proposal after the owners answered her concerns about lighting, noise and surveillance cameras.

Other speakers and letters also supported the project.

William Jackson, who lives across from the property, said marijuana stores are not appropriate for Main Street.

The 1,300-square-foot building was constructed in 2018 after the former C.N. Brown building was demolished. C.N. Brown, based in South Paris, still owns the building and property.

Scrimshaw at 500 Main St. received approval in May 2018 from thePlanning Board, and the City Council voted in August 2018 to issue a permit for the business.

The Planning Board was also expected to review at its Oct. 1 meeting a proposal filed by Glenn Johnson for a medical marijuana production facility at 270 Park St., named Dirigo Medical CBD. This building had formerly been used by Midcoast Children's Services, and before that, by Grace Bible Fellowship.

There is also a fourth proposal pending before the Planning Board. Nancy Shaw of Swanville filed an application Sept. 23 with the Rockland Code Enforcement Office for a business at 11 Lime St. This is the former Bicknell Manufacturing building now owned by Dupont Industries of Wilmington, Del.

The Planning Board will hold its first review Oct. 15. A formal public hearing would then be held Nov. 5 if the application is ruled complete at the initial meeting.

The applications being received by Rockland come after the Maine Legislature approved earlier this year a law to regulate retail marijuana shops. The state Office of Marijuana Policy plans to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana business licenses by the end of the year.

Municipalities must vote to opt in for retail stores. The Rockland City Council has yet to vote on whether to allow retail marijuana stores.

Maine residents chose to legalize recreational marijuana in a 2016 public vote.

Rockland residents voted in a nonbinding referendum in November 2018 on whether to allow marijuana businesses in Rockland. Voters said no to allowing adult recreational marijuana stores in the downtown by a 1,610 to 1,282 tally (56 percent to 44 percent).

But they said they would support recreational marijuana stores elsewhere in the city by a 1,670 to 1,240 tally (57 percent to 43 percent).

Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Oct 02, 2019 13:04

...and the beat goes on!

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Oct 02, 2019 08:38

Now that we have a marijuana shop at the old c.n. Brown let's re-open the Log Cabin

If you wish to comment, please login.