Woolwich to review request for marijuana farm

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 8:45am

    The Woolwich select board will review an application for a proposed marijuana cultivation business. Christian Elie, a representative of Sea Grass Group, asked the select board for conditional approval for his license Monday night.

    Final approval may depend on whether or not voters agree to amend the town’s marijuana cultivation ordinance. Selectmen’s Chairman David King Sr. said changes the town attorney suggested will require a special town meeting in March. Voters overwhelmingly approved ordinances allowing the cultivation of cannabis, and sale of recreational marijuana, last August. Woolwich’s cannabis cultivation ordinance limits marijuana growing to the rural and general purpose zones.

    Resident Bill Longley questioned whether more changes were needed. He served on the committee that wrote the ordinances. Longley noted he was not able to attend the conference call the select board held with the town attorney earlier in the day when the ordinance was discussed.

    After the state issues a provisional license for cannabis cultivation, applicants have a year to get municipal approval for their business. Elie said Sea Grass Group needs the town’s approval by May or risks losing its provisional license. After hearing Elie’s concerns, King suggested the select board review Sea Grass Group’s application with Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Engert on Jan. 19. The review will determine if conditional approval might be granted.

    “We’re not the legislative body, the town’s voters are,” said King adding, March 17 was the soonest the town meeting could be held. 

    Planning board chairman Gregg Buczkowski said a site plan for the Sea Grass Group project was approved in December. The select board must issue final approval before the applicant returns to the state for its authorization. The facility would be on Sam Moore Road off Route 127.

    The select board is looked into buying  five laptop computers they could use to meet remotely over Zoom. King hopes to keep the purchase to around $2,000.

    “Because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic we may find it necessary to begin meeting remotely,” he commented. The vote to purchase the computers was 4-1, Selectman Allen Greene casting the dissent. Greene said he’d prefer to use his own computer for town business.

    The board voted 3-0-2 to award this year’s snowplowing contracts. Dale Chadbourne and Jason Shaw abstained.

    The meeting began with Town Administrator Kim Dalton administering the oath of office to Shaw and Allison Hepler, who were both reelected to the select board in November. Their new terms started Jan 1.