FORT KENT, Maine — The number of dispensaries in Fort Kent is about to triple.
Fort Kent has one medical marijuana dispensary, Full Bloom Cannabis. Its planning board recently cleared the way for two more to open: Crystal Clear Cannabis and Stash Inc.
Crystal Clear will open in early February. It’s the second store operated by a Houlton couple who believe the County’s marijuana scene is ripe for expansion. The past stigmas of marijuana shops are fading as communities fail to see negative impacts from the businesses, co-owner Dave Tucker said.
“People are getting adjusted to it,” Tucker said. “Little old Grand Isle has got three of them and has anything changed over there? Presque Isle has seven of them within a mile.”
Medical caregiver facilities can benefit their communities and are becoming increasingly accepted in Maine, he said.
The County has grown from becoming the home of the first medical marijuana dispensary on the East Coast to seeing communities with multiple growing facilities and storefronts.
marijuana market growth
A personal crisis launched the Tuckers into the medical marijuana business. Crystal Clear Cannabis is named for Dave’s wife, Crystal Tucker, who was diagnosed with a serious medical condition in 2014.
“My wife is my everything. She is the Crystal at Crystal Clear,” Dave Tucker said.
Both in their early 40s, the Tuckers own several rental properties, an office service and the convenience store TNT Takeout in Houlton.
The Houlton dispensary sees five patients from Fort Kent who travel south for their medication, he said. One of those patients encouraged them to come to Fort Kent.
The company serves patients diagnosed with epilepsy, Lou Gehrig’s disease and other medical maladies for which they find medical marijuana treatment helpful, Tucker said.
Their patients also include older people, like one man living in a nursing home. He can’t stop shaking in the morning, but takes his marijuana medication and is able to drink his coffee and feed himself, Tucker said.
Crystal Clear offers other products like salves, which are topical and won’t make a person test positive for marijuana consumption.
aroostook marijuana market
The company uses Maine processors for its products. Plants are grown in Houlton and shipped to East Coast Gold in Bangor and Brigid Farm in Saco, where they are processed into concentrates such as oils, edibles and drinks.
Crystal Clear plans to open Monday, Feb. 6.
Crews are performing safety upgrades on the building, adding fire extinguishers, exit signs and smoke detectors, according to Cole Pelletier, Fort Kent code enforcement officer and community planner.
The number of employees will depend on demand for the product, Tucker said. He hopes the greater Fort Kent community will welcome the business’ expansion.
“We just want the community to keep an open mind,” Tucker said. “We want to be positive for the community and hope they give us a chance.”
Stash Inc. did not respond to numerous requests for comment.