CHINA: Medical marijuana retail store approved

by Mary Grow

China Planning Board members have approved Miguel Rivera’s application to open a medical marijuana retail store in the former Knowles Mechanical Building, at 1097 Route 3.

They have scheduled a Nov. 9 public hearing on Jayson Mortimer’s application to open an automobile repair garage, at 86 Vassalboro Road.

Board members began their Oct. 12 meeting with a discussion of Rivera’s application, followed by a short public hearing.

Neighbor Steve Belden wanted to make sure Rivera would not grow or process marijuana in the building, creating an odor. Rivera said the building would be for retail sales only.

After discussion of wetlands on the back of the property, parking, lighting, signs and other topics, planning board members reviewed the ordinance criteria and voted unanimously that Rivera’s plan meets all of them. They added one condition: he needs to provide a letter from the Weeks Mills fire chief saying the property meets fire safety requirements.

Planning board Chairman Randall Downer reminded Rivera that the permit is subject to appeal for 30 days.

Mortimer explained his plan to do automobile repairs and inspections in the existing garage on his property. He does not intend to house junk cars; work will be indoors, minimizing noise and other possible disturbances; he plans no new outside lighting.

Codes Officer Jaime Hanson told Mortimer what additional information he should submit. Because the proposal is for a new business, board members voted unanimously to hold a public hearing before acting on the permit application.

The next China Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26, but Mortimer said he would not be available that evening. The public hearing is therefore scheduled for Tuesday evening, Nov. 9.


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