GARDINER — The Planning Board canceled its Tuesday night meeting to review proposals for a medical marijuana dispensary and a hard cider brewery because only three of the seven members could attend.

Chairwoman Deborah Willis told the packed room of attendees Tuesday that the rescheduled meeting will be held next Tuesday at the same time, 6 p.m. She said the board was hoping to have the four members required to hold the meeting, but only three could make it.

The medical marijuana dispensary and cidery, both planned in historical buildings, likely generated the most interest, but the board was also scheduled to review an application from homeowners on Arthurs Way to rebuild a potting shed in the shoreland zone and to discuss a proposed disc golf course with two applicants.

Wellness Connection of Maine applied to move its Hallowell medical marijuana dispensary to the former train station on Maine Avenue in Gardiner. The company plans to lease the nearly century-old building between Maine Avenue and the Kennebec River as a dispensary and to make edible marijuana products. Patricia Rosi, CEO of Wellness Connection of Maine, said the company, with dispensaries in Portland, Brewer and Thomaston, has been looking for a larger, more accessible space than its Hallowell location.

The former train station was built in 1911 and was last used by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Gardiner for two years until 2003, when the group moved to its current location in the former elementary school on Pray Street.

A hard cider start-up company is proposing using the former congregational church on Church Street to make the cider and eventually offer tastings to the public in the converted sanctuary room.

Because the 171-year-old church is a residential district, the board needs to approve the applicants to open the cidery through the adaptive reuse process approved by councilors early last month. The process allows for some commercial uses in older buildings originally built for nonresidential uses in the high-density residential zone. It can be used only for buildings that are no longer economically viable or physically suitable for uses allowed in the districts in which they’re located.

David Boucher, who founded Lost Orchard Brewing Co. with his fiancee, Kristina Nugent, both of New Harbor, said he hopes to have the first batch of hard cider finished by the middle of September if all goes as planned. He said they’ve signed a purchase-and-sale agreement to purchase the property from the church for $100,000 if the city approves the plan.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig


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