BRUNSWICK — Brunswick is on tap to get its first recreational marijuana store, pending license approval. 

On Tuesday, the Brunswick Planning Board unanimously approved a conditional use permit and final development plan for GJoris LLC.

Michael DiPersia, representing GJoris LLC, plans to construct a 3,100 square foot, single-story recreational marijuana retail store within the Brunswick Industrial Park.

DiPersia and Joseph Marden, project manager with civil engineering and surveying firm Sitelines, said previously the store, located at 4 Business Parkway, the name of which has not yet been announced and is not included in any meeting materials, will be designed to have a “destination retail feel.”

The project proposes 64 parking spaces, with the option to add 18 more later on if needed. 

Planning Director Matt Panfil and other town planning officials have expressed concern that the parking lot includes roughly six times the recommended number of spaces for a lot of that size, but DiPersia and his representation have maintained that if anything, it’s a low estimate. 

Planning board members on Tuesday included a stipulation that if the business does choose to add more spaces, it will need to be approved by the board. 

Marden said previously that the location, the name of which has not been announced, is expected to be a regional draw, with more out of town customers than local ones. 

Before the store can open, GJoris LLC must obtain both local and state licensing. 

Fran Smith, Brunswick town clerk, said Wednesday afternoon that a license application had not yet been filed with the town. A representative from the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy could not be reached by press time. 

Alison Harris, planning board member, noted the group was essentially “flying blind,” trying to regulate an entirely “brand new enterprise” for the town, and an ability to revisit the parking situation might be helpful.

Elevated Remedies of Brunswick, Brunswick’s second medical marijuana storefront, opened just up the road at 14 Industrial Parkway in summer 2019, but DiPersia’s project will be the town’s first retail site.

Approval in Brunswick comes less than a week after the first round of retail marijuana locations opened in Maine. 

Four years after voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, years filled with rewrites, vetoes, administrative changes and coronavirus pandemic, the first retail stores opened Oct. 9. 

Maine residents spent more than $250,000 on marijuana over the course of the first weekend of legal retail sales of the drug in the state, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy said the long weekend that ended on Monday generated more than 6,400 transactions and $25,000 in sales tax.

The planning board tabled the initial application in May on the grounds that the establishment would significantly and negatively impact traffic around the proposed site, violating zoning criteria.

According to the ordinance, a proposed use could not create “significantly more vehicular traffic” than the uses currently within 300 feet of the proposed site or create “additional adverse impacts” on any use or structure within the same distance. 

In Brunswick, retail recreational marijuana is only allowed in industrial zones, but according to Panfil, by nature, any retail store is naturally going to generate more traffic than any industrial use.

Amy Tchao, an attorney representing GJoris LLC, said in an email earlier this spring that the town had made it “functionally impossible” for recreational marijauna sales. 

“Our application was the first of its kind before the Planning Board,” she said, and “exposed this critical and unintended flaw in its permitting process.”

Revisions passed unanimously by the council in August now stipulate instead that traffic will not “be greater than would occur from any uses designated as a permitted use or conditional use within the same zoning district.” 

The approval will go into effect in 30 days, following the conclusion of the appeal period, Panfil said. 

A representative for GJoris LLC could not be reached for comment.

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