Rob Laverdiere of Lewiston is seeking to grow medical marijuana in the former production facility of the Advertiser Democrat building at 1 Pikes Hill Road in Norway. 

NORWAY — The Planning Board met Thursday evening for a pre-application meeting with a Lewiston man seeking permission to grow medical marijuana inside the former production facility of the Advertiser Democrat newspaper at 1 Pikes Hill Road.

Rob Laverdiere said he was leasing the building from James Costello, with an option to buy in the future.

He said he was looking to turn the building into a medical marijuana growth facility for his patients and had “no plans” to expand his operation in the future.

“We just want to get our feet in, follow the rules, and go from there,” Laverdiere said.

Costello told the Planning Board that the building was a “good fit” for Laverdiere’s operation.

“The plan is to build self-contained rooms inside of the existing structure,” he said. “We’re not looking to touch the exterior. With this kind of facility, there’s a fairly low volume of traffic. The building is also specifically well-designed so that it can be set up as a separate building and allow it to operate separate from the Advertiser Democrat facility.”

Growing medical marijuana inside the building would constitute a change of use, so the Planning Board provided Laverdiere with a Site Plan Review Application and gave him a list of requirements to be met before the application would be approved.

Planning Board member Michael Quinn said that if Laverdiere can collect all of the information necessary for the Site Plan Review Application, he could be placed on the agenda for the Planning Board’s Aug. 24 meeting.

“After that, we’ll have a public hearing,” Quinn said. “If everything moves along quick, we could have a public hearing after the Aug. 24 meeting.”

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