Roots and Weeds offers growing supplies, support

By Louis Bettcher | Dec 05, 2017
Photo by: Louis Bettcher Jillian Callahan stands at the newly opened Roots and Weeds location in Rockport Dec. 4.

Rockport — Roots and Weeds Garden Center, 554 West St., offers a wide array of soil, nutrients and technology to assist growers of everything from marijuana to vegetables with their specialized crops.

Founded by Augusta-area chiropractor Dr. James LaVallee, the shop is a sister store to Roots and Weeds in Newport. After years of searching for a location on the Midcoast, LaVallee found the current space in a building that once housed the Haven restaurant, and went to work remodeling the interior earlier this fall. Now the 1,600-square-foot facility displays a vast supply of products, including advanced lighting and hydroponic systems.

LaVallee divides his time between the two locations as well as his medical practice. He said he had decided to become a licensed medical marijuana caregiver after being approached by a number of his chiropractic patients seeking alternatives for pain to traditional phamaceuticals. After spending years researching marijuana growing, Lavallee decided to undertake providing a group of five patients with a plant they find has a therapeutic effect.

"It's a lot harder to make a living today than it once was, and the opportunity to become a medical marijuana caregiver for me, and people I know, serves as a second source of income. Once I started, I realized how much I enjoyed working with plants, and after a long day at work, the process can be very cathartic," LaVallee said Dec. 4.

Following legislation passed at the state level last year that allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants for their own personal use, LaVallee was approached by a number of patients, some of whom were elderly, who expressed interest in growing plants of their own.

"For some people, it's a chance to grow your own medicine. For others, it's a chance to do something for the first time in their lives, simply because they were never allowed to before. People may not necessarily be harvesting the marijuana, but for them it is just a novelty to try and grow something that was considered taboo for all these years," said LaVallee, who prides himself on running stores where novice and experienced growers can not only find useful materials, but also receive knowledgeable support from his staff.

"We're a resource to be tapped: we supply gardening needs and answer questions, but we also enjoy helping people and watching them become successful. One of the reasons that I wanted to open a store here is that there are also a lot of homesteaders in the area, who grow "micro-gardens" of vegetables year-round, and we carry the equipment they need," LaVallee said.

In addition to the personal support that a brick-and-mortar store offers rather than shopping online, LaVallee said, he works hard to make sure that all of the products carried by Roots and Weeds are competitively priced. One of the most popular products among all types of gardeners has been "Compost Tea," a fertilizer for flowers, vegetables and houseplants made by steeping organic manure in hot water then using it to enrich soil.

Roots and Weeds is open Monday through Saturday.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Amanda Parten | Dec 06, 2017 20:44

If there is a beneficial factor in helping those with mental illness, addiction, and/or any other ailments, let us embrace it, not destroy it. Become educated, rather than hold on to some old mentality that a natural plant is somehow evil and will ruin lives. The only reason why hemp/marijuana has been made the bad guy was due to Randolph Hearst recognizing all its benefits that would clearly ruin his paper business if it were to be legal. For heaven sake, our founding father, George Washington grew it behind the White House!


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 06, 2017 20:28

Johanna I am so glad that the Sheriff or anyone else is not chasing your sick butt all over the county as are you. I know nothing about these medical wonders and am hoping I do not need them,  but one thing I wish you would clear up for me is: Why are poeple needing these medical wonders to get them off from a situation that they got themselves into. And, please, I am not talking about people who, with issues of medical concern,  have found this new treatment without having treated themselves to the formative use and even maybe called abuse. Just wondering. I have abused myself by gaining weight in the passed and have tried to change that by diet and eating better, without the use of any medical wonders. Or maybe none of those wonders help with weight loss.

Posted by: johanna stadler | Dec 06, 2017 16:52

seriously ms mckeever, have you read any of the recent findings, or are you just basing your statement on your vast knowledge and experience?  You know what caused my family heart ache?  My severe mental illness that is so much better controlled with medical cannabis  that I have been able to return to work and pay into society rather than sucking it dry.  You do understand there are other substances in cannabis that do not cause the psychoactive high you are stuck on.  Pretty sure the sheriff is thrilled not having to chase my sick butt all over the county, and frankly so am I.  I think you are condemning something you don't know a whole lot about.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Dec 06, 2017 15:23

Marijuana now is considered like smoking cigarettes. Both are addictive. Both somewhat impair cognitive ability. Alcohol is the same and we saw the legalization of alcohol, so what else is new? Both give the law officers grief and heartache to the families.

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