WILTON — A permit to allow nine medical marijuana providers to be housed in an East Wilton building is waiting for a decision from the state on whether that would be legal.
The Planning Board has received an application from Lucas Sirois of Farmington for a permit to install nine separate spaces for marijuana caregivers in the Route 2 building owned by Kelly Dexter.
The application is on the board's agenda for Thursday, Sept. 20, but "we're waiting on a determination from the state on whether this is a legal activity under the state's medical marijuana law," Code Enforcement Officer Paul Montague said.
"We, the licensing division of the Department of Health and Human Services, are reviewing the application and will let the town know," John Thiele said Thursday.
Under the state's medical use marijuana program, caregivers can grow enough marijuana for up to five patients.
This application raises concern because collectives are not allowed, he said. Separate caregivers cannot band together and cultivate marijuana together. They can't keep their processes together and they can't be linked as businesses, he said.
The plan is to construct nine separate units for caregivers to cultivate the plants, and each would have their own space and provide only for their patients, Sirois said.
"I think of it like a a hotel. Each has their own door, own key and are the only one with access," he said.
It would be state-of-the-art conditions for growing with the best lighting and ventilation, and would be new and clean, he said.
There is shared office space where patients could come by appointment only to receive the medicine from their own caregiver. No one can just walk in, he said.
Under the law, caregivers are allowed to grow six flowering female plants to provide for medicinal marijuana patients, he said. Each caregiver is licensed under DHHS for $300 per patient and the cost of a background check. No convicted felon is allowed to be a provider.
Sirois said he has enough caregivers to fill the spaces. He said he intends to only be the landlord. Each caregiver would need to prove to the town that they have a DHHS permit to grow and provide as a caregiver, he said.
Dispensaries, which are allowed to provide to an unlimited number of patients, charge around $400 per ounce. Many caregivers provide the drug for $250 or $300. Sirois said he believes the quality of the marijuana is also better.
"Some think I'm arrogant for saying we grow the best marijuana in the state," he said.
Several attorneys have reviewed his plan and say it's legal, Sirois said.
"Now we just have to prove to the state of Maine that this does work," he added.
Thiele said he planned to review the application, speak with the assistant attorney general and then let the town know whether they can continue with the application.
Sirois and Charles Crandall initially wanted to use the building for a medical marijuana dispensary named Ahead Care under the Western Maine District, one of eight set up across the state.
The dispensary license for this district was awarded to Timothy and Jennifer Smale, who also initially considered this building but started a dispensary in Auburn to serve Franklin, Androscoggin and Oxford counties.