The Thorndike Board of Selectmen meets Wednesday Zoom screenshot.

THORNDIKE — As a commercial cannabis distributor makes its plans to expand to central Maine, Thorndike’s three-member board of selectmen said they cannot yet sign off on the project and send it to the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy.

Nova Farms, a commercial marijuana grower, plans has an agreement in place to purchase farmland. The Thorndike Board of Selectmen said in a meeting Wednesday evening they are awaiting permitting to move forward.

“We need to have a meeting between Nova farms and us,” Second Selectman Jeff Trafton said. “They will keep moving forward, permits will be done, then we can sign ‘yes’ on the form.”

Thorndike residents voted 50-34 at a special town meeting last Saturday against a six-month moratorium on new marijuana businesses. Thorndike residents voted 34-25 in favor of adopting the state’s adult-use marijuana policy at the Aug. 20, 2020, annual Town Meeting.

Thorndike resident Donald Maxim has a sale and purchase agreement to unload his 170-acre farm to Nova Farms. The Attleboro, Massachusetts-based company plans on developing the project over the next two months before it begins growing cannabis commercially.

Nova Farms CEO Derek Ross, a Rockwood resident, previously said the farm will employ between 35 and 50 local residents. Nova Farms hopes to hit the 2021 season, which starts in late May or early June. The Board of Selectmen wants to know the modifications and additions Nova Farms will make to the property.

“We’re going to wait until we get the business plan,” Thorndike First Selectman Doreen Berry said.

Nova Farms has a conditional Maine tier 4 outdoor cultivation license, which allows up to 20,000 square feet of planting.

Donald Maxim, 86, stands in the garage at his home and farm, Maxim Farm, in Thorndike on Jan. 7. Voters decided against a proposed moratorium on marijuana businesses during a special town meeting on Saturday, paving the way for him to sell his farm to a commercial grower. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

The board of selectmen also voted unanimously to move forward on the recommendation of the salt and sand shed’s committees next steps.

The board also voted 2-1 to appoint Greg Falzetta, who chairs the sand and salt committee, to the planning board. Trafton opposed the appointment.

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