Owner Ed DuGay poses for portrait behind a display case Tuesday at the recently licensed Hallowell 4Twenty shop at the corner of Water and North streets in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

HALLOWELL — After helping others navigate the governmental process of opening a medical marijuana retail store, Ed DuGay is doing it himself.

DuGay, a former Maine legislator, plans to open Hallowell 4Twenty, a medical marijuana retail store, at 31 Water St. by July 4. On Monday, the Hallowell City Council awarded him a marijuana business license.

A representative of District 33, which covers a portion of Washington County, from 1998 to 2006, DuGay founded Harvest Consulting in 2010. The governmental affairs consulting company assisted clients through the process of opening up medical marijuana businesses.

DuGay has been seen at City Council meetings with Katherine Lewis, owner of medical marijuana retail store Homegrown of Hallowell at 109 Water St., who he described as his “best friend.” He said his involvement has also been impactful behind the scenes, including lobbying locally to change ordinances to allow the new shop to operate.

“I put this building under contract in July,” DuGay said. “We had to go before the Appeals Board and lost 4-1.”

A caregiver for two-and-a-half years, he said he worked with city officials to help change an ordinance that allowed for his business to operate at the 31 Water St. property, which has a top floor apartment and is in the city’s Northern Gateway Business District A.

The former office of Vision Eye Care of Maine, seen Tuesday, will be the new home for the recently licensed Hallowell 4Twenty shop at the corner of Water and North streets in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

City Councilor Kate Dufour, chairperson of the city’s Ordinance Rewrite Committee, said DuGay, Kenne Nuzzo, an optometrist that formerly owned the property, and Danny Sullivan, a Hallowell real estate agent, met with the committee to advocate for the changes to the ordinance.

In February, the City Council approved final readings of a zoning ordinance pertaining to marijuana businesses that added marijuana retail stores as a permitted use in the Northern Gateway Business A district if the property is “at least 60% nonresidential, based on the total floor area of all structures on the lot.”

DuGay said he will offer products from a number of growers and manufacturers across the state, as well as his own Hallowell 4Twenty line, in his shop. Despite profit margins being slightly higher if he offered only his own products, he believes selling a wide variety could create more revenue for the business. DuGay said sourcing products from all over the state, including Lewis’ nearby store, will strengthen the entire marijuana community.

“If we’re all successful, the whole program is going to be successful,” he said.

DuGay said he plans to enter the adult-use industry, but will not immediately do so when allowed. He said he is going to pilot a seed-to-sale tracking software program while only selling medical cannabis, which would be used for tracking adult-use marijuana under state law.

Hallowell 4Twenty will also sell DuGay’s handmade soaps, which he said are made with essential oils and other natural fragrances. He said those soaps will also be available in stores in the southern part of the state.

Also in February, the city’s ordinance changes allowed for an additional shop to open in the city’s downtown district, limiting downtown marijuana retail stores to three. Previously, the two-store limit pushed an operating store owner Derek Wilson, who operated the Cannabis Healing Center at the time, out of business in 2018.

Since DuGay’s business is not in the downtown district, it is not subject to the limited number of marijuana establishments can be licensed in that part of the city.

Also Monday, Allison Michaud, owner of the The Frost Factory at 144 Water St., renewed her marijuana business license.

In May, City Councilors approved issuing a license to David Vickers, who will operate a 7,000-square-foot growing operation at 268 Whitten Road, near the Hallowell-Augusta line.

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