After a public hearing at Pownalborough Hall on Monday July 19, the Dresden Planning Committee unanimously approved Michael Stewart’s motion to open a retail store for his medical marijuana business at 353 Patterson Road.
Stewart’s business, Smooth Remedies, was approved by the city in March to work on delivery capacity. After updating his individual grooming license through the state, Stewart filed an application to open a “specialty grocery store” in an estate currently owned by his father, Daniel Stewart.
“Through a holistic approach to health, wellness and agriculture, my mission is to provide patients with safe and effective alternative medicine to improve their quality of life,” said Stewart in a statement included in his application package.
When asked by Planning Committee Chairman Jeff Pierce what types of products he would have in the store, Stewart said he would stock cannabis products in three forms: flowers that can be smoked, concentrate that can be topically applied or smoked, and edibles.
Sue Pilgrim from Dresden submitted a three-and-a-half-page written statement against the approval of Stewart’s application. Pilgrim said she has lived on Patterson Road with her family for 25 years, arguing that a medical cannabis business is incompatible with a residential neighborhood for a number of reasons, including safety, aesthetics, and implications for the value of nearby real estate.
“While I welcome Mr. Stewart for his desire to start a business, I have serious concerns about this proposal and its impact on our neighborhood and property. Since we are almost across the street, we will see, hear and be influenced by every activity at 353 Patterson Road, ”Pilgrim said in her letter.
When the board opened the hearing for public comment, Pilgrim declined to speak and referred the board to their written statement.
Daniel Stewart said he would give his number to all of the store’s neighbors, many of whom were in, and that they could always reach out to him with their questions or concerns.
“Come to us and we will do everything we can to make it a good neighbor for you,” said Daniel Stewart.
The board then unanimously voted to approve the motion with the terms that Michael Stewart would label and define the company’s four parking lots, work with the city law enforcement officer to place his sign, and set up some sort of buffer between the store’s parking lots and a neighbor’s driveway.
In other news, the board also welcomed new Planning Council member Dawn Palace to fill former member Russell Peckham’s vacancy. The board also re-elected Pierce as chairman, Dan Hanley as vice-chairman, and Patty Stewart as secretary of the planning committee.