Port City Relief, a chain of marijuana stores with locations in Portland, Scarborough and Old Orchard Beach, is looking to turn the Gulf gas station in Bath into a recreational marijuana store. The gas station is at 115 Leeman Highway on the southbound side. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

BATH — Bath could have a second recreational marijuana storefront on Leeman Highway, just a few doors down from an already approved recreational marijuana store.

Port City Relief, a marijuana retail chain with locations in Portland, Scarborough and Old Orchard Beach, wants to open a new location in the Gulf gas station at 115 Leeman Highway on the southbound side. Port City Relief has three locations in Portland, Scarborough and Old Orchard Beach.

The building, currently a Gulf convenience store with gas pumps, will remain unchanged, said Zac Wogan, an analyst for Sawyer Island Consulting. The store will continue selling gas and the building will be split into two separate areas.

One section of the store will have an area where customers can pay for gas if they’re paying with cash, Wogan said. The other section of the store, separated by a door, will house the recreational marijuana store.

Wogan said an employee will be checking the IDs of everyone coming into the recreational marijuana store and minors will not be allowed. However, minors can enter the other half of the store to pay for gas if needed.

The Bath Planning Board unanimously tabled approving the store last Tuesday. Ben Averill, Bath city planner, said board members want more information on the store’s existing exterior lights, security cameras and fencing separating the store’s property from the surrounding neighborhood before it approves the project.

Neil Gastonguay, who lives on Court Street directly behind the gas station, told the planning board he’s “not crazy about the idea of a marijuana store being there.”

Gastonguay said he’s concerned a marijuana store would reduce the property value of his home. He also doesn’t like the “glaring” exterior lights on the convenience store that shine into his home.

The proposed business also requires another site plan review because it’s changing from a convenience store to a recreational marijuana store, said Averill.

Should the store be approved at next month’s planning board meeting, it will need to apply for a state and local license before it can open to the public.

According to Bath’s retail rules, recreational and medical marijuana stores are required to install security measures, including 24-hour surveillance, and passers-by should not be able to smell marijuana from outside the building.

Bath’s rules also set a 500-foot buffer around schools, licensed child care facilities, public parks, substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment centers and halfway houses. No two retail stores and dispensaries can open within 300 feet of each other.

The proposed store and gas station is just down the road from another recreational marijuana store, Highbrow, that was approved by the planning board in January. Highbrow’s is next to the US Cellular building down the road on the same side as Leeman Highway. While the two businesses would be close, they’re not within the 300-foot buffer area.

Andrew Booth, deputy Bath police chief, said he’s not concerned about two recreational marijuana stores being near one another, but said the department will continue to monitor the businesses after hours to protect them from theft and look out for impaired drivers.

“[Recreational marijuana] is legal now, and we continue to enforce the laws that are on the books,” he said. “We’re not going to be sitting in the driveway waiting for someone to pull in.”

According to David Heidrich Jr., director of engagement and community outreach in the State Office of Marijuana Policy, only 12 recreational marijuana stores statewide have received active licenses. Statewide, 228 recreational marijuana stores have applied for licenses.

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