Woolwich may soon get its second recreational marijuana store, just a few doors down from its first recreational marijuana store approved earlier this year. Highly Cannaco, a recreational marijuana business with an active retail location in Auburn, is looking to open a location in what is now Holistic Alternatives, a medical marijuana store on Route 1 in Woolwich.
The Woolwich planning board unanimously approved a change of use for the Holistic Alternatives location to switch from selling medical marijuana to recreational marijuana after no one spoke in opposition or support of the change during the public hearing Monday.
Jan Martin, a representative for Highly Cannaco, said nothing about the existing building or parking will change except the sign and what’s sold inside.
Martin declined to comment whether Highly Cannaco bought the Holistic Alternatives business or the property until the Woolwich select board grants the business a local retail marijuana license. The timeline for that decision is unknown. Holistic Alternatives owner Adam Austin didn’t return requests for comment Tuesday to clarify the relationship between Holistic Alternatives and Highly Cannaco.
Highly Cannaco has secured a conditional license from the state, according to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, and will next need to secure a local license from the town. The business is also in the process of establishing recreational retail stores in South Portland and Boothbay as well as a cultivation facility in Boothbay, according to the OMP.
Woolwich residents voted 136-51 to allow recreational marijuana retail stores in town last August. However, a maximum of three recreational retail shops can open on Route 1 between the Taste of Maine restaurant and the Sagadahoc Bridge that connects Woolwich and Bath.
Should Highly Cannaco become Woolwich’s second recreational marijuana store, it will be less than a half-mile from the town’s first recreational marijuana store. Woolwich selectmen granted their first recreational marijuana retail license to Farley’s Cannabis Farm, a medical marijuana store on Route 1 in April. The business is now waiting for its final active license from the state, according to the OMP database.
No other recreational marijuana stores looking to take root in Woolwich have received a preliminary conditional retail license from the state, according to data from the OMP.
Recreational marijuana manufacturing, cultivation and testing facilities can only open in rural general purpose areas, which cover most of the town, according to Gregg Buczkowski, Woolwich planning board chair. A full zoning map is available on the town website.
In February, the select board unanimously approved Seagrass, the town’s first recreational marijuana cultivation enterprise. Founders Stephen Elie and Edward Ney said they plan to open a 7,000-square-foot facility on a 4.2-acre plot at 46 Sam Moore Road.