Adam Conners arranges products at the Brothers Cannabis location on Bangor's Stillwater Avenue last week. The Brewer Planning Board approved a plan Monday for Brothers Cannabis to open a location in that city, which would make it Brewer's first recreational marijuana shop. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Brewer’s first recreational marijuana store could open as soon as this winter, five months after councilors voted to allow such stores to operate within city limits.

The city’s planning board signed off Monday night on a plan for Brothers Cannabis to open a recreational shop at 480 Wilson St. The cannabis store would open in a building that currently houses a Subway restaurant and an Aubuchon Hardware store, said Jim Kiser, Brothers Cannabis’ business agent.

It would be the latest location for the quickly expanding Brothers Cannabis, which already has a location on Stillwater Avenue in Bangor and is preparing to open a store at 657 Broadway in Bangor in the location of a former Amato’s restaurant.

Matt Hawes, Brothers Cannabis’ co-owner, said the company planned to open its Brewer location as soon as mid-February.

“This is home stuff for me,” Hawes, a Brewer High School graduate, said of the decision to open a Brewer location.  

“I really enjoy the opportunity to participate, in my industry, that I’ve spent my career in, working in a place where I grew up.”

Hawes said the Brewer location would sell the same products as Brothers Cannabis’ other stores.  

Across the Penobscot River, a handful of recreational marijuana stores have opened in Bangor since recreational marijuana sales were first allowed in October 2020.

Brewer, however, did not allow for recreational marijuana retailers to set up shop until last September, when the City Council approved a planning board recommendation to allow such shops.

The city’s new ordinance now allows recreational marijuana shops to operate in the city’s general business and professional business districts. The stores have to be located at least 100 feet away from private homes and at least 500 feet from other marijuana shops. They also can’t be located within 500 feet of schools, religious institutions, day care facilities and methadone clinics.

The state’s recreational marijuana industry generated more than $70 million in sales in 2020, an amount that Hawes, who is a founding executive board member of the Maine Cannabis Industry Association, called a “healthy beginning.”

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.