GREENE, Maine — A Bangor-based company has bought the shuttered Town & Country Foods with long-term plans to grow recreational marijuana in the former 13,340-square-foot former meat operation.
“I sold it actually from a social media post,” broker Kevin Fletcher at Malone Commercial Brokers said Tuesday. After announcing the listing on Instagram in March, “it was under contract in two or three days.”
MECAP LLC bought the 8.2 acre property for $360,000 as an investment, then turned around and sold it, owner-financed, to Central Maine Flower Herbal Caregiving Services LLC, Fletcher said.
Central Maine Flower describes itself online as “growers who specialize in the growing of hydroponic medicinal cannabis.”
Ryan Aubin, who operates the consulting service Ryan the Grower and answered the phone for Central Maine Flower this week, said the Greene facility appealed to Central Maine Flower owner Benny Carrasco for its layout.
“You don’t see options like that happen — freezer buildings that are spray-proof and have drains on the floor kind of meet every grower’s dream,” Aubin said. “It saved a lot of money and upfront cost. Everything is sterilizable from the ceiling on down. That’s something a lot of people can’t do at their home facilities because of Sheetrock, or it’s in a basement. If you do have a mold outbreak or something like that on the crop, you can limit it.”
Aubin estimated it would take until February to build out the facility. Carrasco, a licensed medical marijuana caregiver, will move his plants from Bangor with an eye toward growing more plants for the recreational marijuana market once those rules are established, Aubin said.
“Thirty-six plants is not a very big grow operation and that’s the limit that one person can do (under the current medical marijuana caregiver rules),” he said. “Town & Country is a pretty large building — 36 plants will take a closet. It’s just looking toward the future and just getting prepared and seeing the value of the building.”
There are no plans to sell marijuana from the location, he said.
Several former Town & Country employees have stopped by as they’ve seen the building’s doors open, Aubin said, and have asked about plans and any employment.
“It’d be nice to offer a job back to some of those people that got laid off,” he said.
He estimated the facility could employ 20 to 25 people once in full recreational marijuana production.
Multiple attempts to reach Carrasco for comment were unsuccessful.
Town Manager Charles Noonan said Greene doesn’t yet have any ordinances related to marijuana, but there are draft ordinances now being discussed by the Planning Board. Any ordinances would have to go in front of residents at the town meeting next March.
“At some point in the near future I suspect we’ll have some public hearings to discuss what the citizens’ feelings are about it, and then go forward,” Noonan said. “The town voted against recreational marijuana (during the 2016 referendum), so we’re looking at it from that perspective. We’ll see where this goes.”