WATERVILLE — A marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and retail business will open in the former Keyes Fibre machine shop at 20 Industrial St. since city councilors on Tuesday night approved licenses for all three operations.

Theory Wellness of Maine LLC will lease the property from Retlew Investments LLC, which has owned the building since 2008.

Brandon Pollock, president and chief executive officer of Theory Wellness, told the City Council that his company started in Massachusetts and employs 220 people.

“I’ve been doing this about six years now,” Pollock said.

The company, which grows, manufactures and sells medical and recreational marijuana, has operations in Great Barrington, Bridgewater and Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Pollock graduated from Colby College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and minors in administrative science and philosophy. While at Colby, he served as student government off-campus president.


The council voted 7-0 to approve the licenses for Theory Wellness.

Councilor Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, who served on the city’s Marijuana Study Committee, welcomed Pollock to the city. Pollock appeared via video at the meeting, which was accessible to the public via a link on the city’s website.

“I’m definitely excited about the jobs, definitely excited about the tax revenue,” Mayhew said, adding that “this was the whole idea for drafting a marijuana ordinance.”

“It’s going to be good for a lot of people down the road, so welcome to Waterville,” Mayhew said.

The former Keyes Fibre machine shop on Industrial Street in Waterville is now the home of Theory Wellness of Maine LLC, which will cultivate, manufacture and sell retail marijuana. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The building Theory Wellness will occupy is located behind Best Western Plus Waterville Grand Hotel, in a commercial-industrial area.

Code Enforcement Officer Dan Bradstreet said Wednesday that there are 10 marijuana facilities in the city now, not including those that have applied recently. The city’s marijuana ordinance does not limit the number of marijuana facilities that may be in the city, he said.


The building at 20 Industrial St. is large and is split up into sections, according to Bradstreet. He said that the most recent uses there included a health club that is no longer in operation, and the building now is used for storage. He said any work done to the building must meet city codes.

In other matters Tuesday, the council voted 7-0 to award a $106,000 contract to JS Industrial Arts Co. to restore the Waterville Public Library’s interior woodwork, and $10,000 for contingency to be used if additional work is required.

Councilors also approved contracts on equipment for public works:

• A $146,063 contract with Freightliner of Bangor for a single-axle dump truck with accessory equipment to be used for summer and winter road maintenance.

• A $68,075 contract with Jordan Equipment Co. of Hermon for an HD track loader with accessory equipment, also to be used for winter and summer road maintenance.

• A $143,998 contract with Freightliner for a dual-axle roll-off truck with related equipment for hauling and disposing of yard and brush debris, demolition material and bulk snow removal.


• An $82,628 contract with O’Connor Motors of Augusta for two two-wheel-drive regular cab trucks with utility bodies, for use by facility and fleet maintenance workers.

• A $30,000 contract with O’Connor for a four-wheel-drive double cab pickup truck for use by the highway superintendent.

• A $36,858 contract with Quirk Ford of Augusta for a 1-ton four-wheel-drive truck with dump body and plow.

The city last year borrowed funding for the equipment.

Councilors took the first of two needed votes to amend the licenses and permitting ordinance to allow licensed businesses to apply for a refund of license fees when forced to close or reduce normal business operations for more than 30 days due to a local, state or federal emergency.

They took a final vote to amend the solid waste ordinance to say mobile home parks are not eligible to receive trash pickup. The city will stop picking up trash at mobile home parks starting July 1.


The council took a final vote to accept a $13,400 award from the Maine Health Access Foundation to buy a fit testing machine for the fire department. That machine conducts quantitative testing to ensure respirators fit properly. The council also voted to renew a special amusement license for Mainely Brews at Post Office Square.

Councilors voted 7-0 to waive cloture or take up an item not listed on the agenda and then voted 7-0 to approve a liquor license for Guacamole’s Mexican Restaurant and Taqueria on Main Street downtown. City Clerk Patti Dubois said owner Kevin Joseph (not the same Kevin Joseph who is co-owner of Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse) requested the license because he wants to serve beer and wine.

Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, said the action serves as an opportunity to show downtown businesses that the council is looking out for them and is interested in their remaining downtown merchants.

Mayor Nick Isgro said the state is now going to allow outdoor dining in the little park on The Concourse near Guacamole’s and Lion’s Den Tavern without having to close down the street there.

“I think this works for everybody,” he said.

Francke asked if traffic control was part of the plan.


“Not yet,” City Manager Michael Roy said. “I guess we’ll evaluate it and keep a close eye.”

Mayhew said both Joseph and Lion’s Den Tavern owner Jennifer Bergeron are “incredible” business owners who are very involved in the community, and he thinks allowing them to have dining in the park is great for the community and beyond.

“Full speed ahead,” he said.

Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, said he also put Travis Lajoy, the owner of 18 Below, a Silver Street restaurant, in touch with Dubois about having outdoor dining there.

“That discussion is happening,” Thomas said.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.