In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, a marijuana plant grows under artificial light at an indoor facility in Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Damariscotta is beginning to review its first application for a recreational marijuana business, as well as an application to move an existing medical marijuana business into a larger location.

The Damariscotta Planning Board will hear both proposals on May 4.

The board will consider a pre-application from Coastal Cannabis Co. LLC to open a recreational marijuana store at 53A Chapman St. Dave Page, co-owner of Coastal Cannabis Co., owns the building, which is behind Hilltop Stop and accessible from Main and Chapman streets.

The space was formerly home to Dovetail Design, which now operates out of the owner’s home, Page said.

Page worked as a medical marijuana caregiver for nine years, until he retired a couple years ago, he said.

“I kind of retired a little too early, and was a man with too much time on his hands,” Page said in a phone interview April 20.

Page owns the business with Evan Morrison of Somerville. Coastal Cannabis Co. will sell cannabis and CBD products, as well as accessories like papers and pipes.

“It’s going to be a full-service marijuana business,” Page said.

Recreational, or adult-use, marijuana retail stores are a conditional use in the C2 district. The project requires site plan approval and a conditional use permit, Town Planner Bob Faunce said in his notes to the planning board.

The board will review the pre-application and discuss the project with Page on May 4. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 1.

Page said the state has indefinitely postponed the issuance of licenses for adult-use marijuana businesses. If the planning board approves his application, he hopes to open by fall, but he said that might be “hopeful thinking.”

“It all depends on what the state does and when things get going,” Page said.

Mark Ferrero, owner of Greenport Cannabis Co., has submitted an application to relocate the medical marijuana business from 202 Main St., where the business rents space, to 280 Main St.

The space at 280 Main St. was formerly home to Healthy Lincoln County, which moved across the street to 281 Main St. at the end of 2019.

Greenport Cannabis opened at its current location in July 2018. The move would give the business more room and a more stable lease situation, Ferrero said in a phone interview April 20.

The move would relocate the business from the town’s C1 district, downtown, to the C2 district. In his notes to the planning board, Faunce said Greenport Cannabis’ operation in the C1 district is grandfathered. Under amendments made to the town’s land use ordinance in November 2019, the town no longer permits marijuana businesses downtown. If the board approves Greenport’s relocation into the C2 district, no marijuana businesses will be allowed downtown.

The move to the C2 district would give Greenport the flexibility to pursue recreational marijuana, but Ferrero said he does not intend to do so at this time.

Ferrero has not proposed any exterior changes to the building and has no plans for a sign at this time, according to Faunce’s notes. In addition, there is “sufficient parking” and access from Main Street.

Ferrero was originally scheduled to present a pre-application to the planning board April 6, but the meeting was canceled due to the coronavirus, Faunce said in his notes.

As Greenport Cannabis is already in operation and Ferrero is asking to relocate the business to a district where the town allows marijuana businesses, town staff recommended that the board conduct its preliminary and final review and hold a public hearing for the relocation May 4.

If the planning board approves Ferrero’s application May 4, he expects to open in the new space by June 1.

The Damariscotta Planning Board will meet by Zoom videoconference at 6 p.m. May 4. To participate in the meeting, residents should call the town office at 563-5168 or email Town Manager Matt Lutkus at by 4 p.m. May 4. An invite will then be sent out shortly before the meeting begins.

This story appears through a media partnership with The Lincoln County News.