Woolwich gets pre-application for cannabis cultivation

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 7:45am

    Two weeks after Woolwich voters approved marijuana ordinances, the planning board received its first preliminary application for a cannabis cultivation business. The select board reviewed the application process with Planning Board Chairman Greg Buczkowski Tuesday evening, Sept. 8.

    Buczkowski explained, the process requires an applicant get a provisional license from the state in addition to approval from the town that includes a site plan review, site visit, public hearing and inspection by the code enforcement officer. The select board issues final approval at the local level, after which the applicant goes for final approval from the state. Once the state issues a provisional license, applicants have a year to get municipal approval.

    The planning board was also meeting that night. Eric Calderwood from Calderwood Engineering of Richmond was to make a pre-application on behalf of The Sea Grass Group of Woolwich to establish a marijuana cultivation facility on Norway Drive.

    According to the agenda, resident Jennifer Ritch-Smith was to present proposed ordinance amendments on marijuana cultivation.

    Before Buczkowski left for the planning board meeting, Selectmen’s Chairman David King Sr. told him if the planning board needed any legal advice during the application process to get in touch with the town attorney.

    At the Aug. 22 annual town meeting, voters passed ordinances for cultivation and recreational sale of marijuana and agreed to increase application fees from $500 to $1,000.

    The cannabis cultivation ordinance limits marijuana growing to the town’s rural and general purpose zones allowing up to 10,000 square feet of commercial cannabis growing indoors or outdoors, or a combination of the two. No limits are placed on the number of growers. The ordinance restricts marijuana cultivation from Nequasset Road or near schools.

    The ordinance on sale of recreation marijuana limits the number of cannabis retail stores to three and requires them to be on Route 1 from the Sagadahoc Bridge to the Taste of Maine Restaurant.

    Tom Stoner of the marijuana committee gave the select board a list of recommended guidelines to use when implementing the marijuana ordinances.