Georgetown selectmen unanimously approved the local license for the town’s first recreational marijuana business on Tuesday after a five-minute discussion and no public comments.
Sarah Valencik plans to open her marijuana cultivation facility, Lighthouse Farms, at 202 Seguinland Road in Georgetown. Valencik said she plans to grow and harvest cannabis plants in a new 2,500-square-foot building that will be built next to an existing structure on the property. However, she said she isn’t certain how many cannabis plants she’ll be able to fit into the facility. She said she plans to grow cannabis plants for wholesale, meaning resident won’t be able to buy marijuana at the facility.
Valencik said she will be the only employee at the facility in the beginning, but hopes to hire a few employees as the business grows, though she didn’t have a certain number in mind.
“I’m going to take it one step at a time,” she said. “I’m new to the industry and it’s a leap of faith. I don’t want to overextend myself.”
With the town’s approval under her belt, Valencik will now need to go back to the state to gain her final active license.
Lighthouse Farms is the only marijuana business in Georgetown to begin the multistep process of gaining local and state licenses, according to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy.
Residents voted to allow recreational marijuana manufacturing, testing and cultivation facilities to operate in Georgetown in 2019, then approved rules to make it official the following year. However, residents voted against allowing marijuana retail businesses.
According to the town’s rules, recreational marijuana manufacturing, testing and cultivation facilities can open anywhere in Georgetown as long it’s at least 1,000 feet away from Georgetown Central School.
After Mainers voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, the state required each municipality to draft and approve their own regulations for recreational marijuana use and business.
Bath, Brunswick, Woolwich and Bowdoinham opted in, permitting any recreational cannabis businesses. Topsham, like Georgetown, allows recreational marijuana growing, manufacturing and testing facilities, but retail stores aren’t allowed.