Mary’s Smokehouse Medical Cannabis & Slow Smoked BBQ storefront in Richmond. Courtesy of Clayton Sulak

Richmond’s second medical marijuana dispensary opened this month, and its owner is trying a unique approach to entice customers — selling barbecue next door.

Clayton Sulak, 34, a Chicago native, said he started his cannabis career almost 12 years ago while operating a cannabis testing lab to help determine the legitimacy of products on the market. After selling his business, Sulak purchased the dilapidated structure at 146 Brunswick Road in Richmond and turned it into Mary’s Smokehouse.

Sulak said the building dates back to the pre-Civil War era and was originally a general store that was later turned into a tavern. After five years of repairing horsehair-plastered walls, a collapsed roof and a grungy exterior on a “shoestring budget,” Sulak said his business was ready to roll. He said he kept the name “Mary’s” from the previous owner because it was his grandmother’s name and marijuana has also been called “Mary Jane.”

Sulak said the restaurant, which he expects to open in October, won’t serve alcohol.

“I would not be comfortable serving liquor,” he said. “I feel that cannabis, especially in the medical format, does much more benefit than harm and has low abuse potential.”

Looking forward, Sulak is already thinking about future additions to his business.


“I would like to open the back room as a cannabis lounge filled with couches and video games,” he said. “I believe on-site cannabis clubs will stop public cannabis use and lead to more responsible and supervised use.”

What Sulake describes is not allowed under current Maine law. In April, a bill was introduced to the Maine Legislature that would support medical marijuana patients by permitting on-site consumption of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. The bill L.D. 1530 was pushed for discussion at a future session.

The majority of cannabis products at Mary’s Smokehouse are produced in Bowdoinham, Windham, Farmingdale and Presque Isle, including cannabis ice cream.

Sulak said patients can leave one smokehouse for another and partake in some homemade sliced brisket, chicken and waffles, smoked pork, and homemade maple or blueberry ice cream. Nothing at the restaurant will contain cannabis, he said.

“This building needed to be something again. Barbecue and cannabis has always seemed right to me,” Sulak said.

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