BOWDOINHAM — Bowdoinham has seen increasing interest from people who want to grow recreational marijuana in town, evident by three proposals coming before the planning board Thursday.

Mystique Operations LLC of Portland is proposing to grow a total of 27,000-square-feet of recreational marijuana at 50 Pork Point Road, which is a rural, agricultural center of town located between the Abagadasset River and Kennebec River. The proposal is up for a public hearing Thursday night.

The property owner, Chas Gill, said he would be growing marijuana for Mystique Operations if the application is approved. Gill, who has farmed in Bowdoinham for 30 years, said he also grows hemp on the property through his own business, Merrymeeting Bay Hemp Co.

Gill said he has grown flowers on the farm, which he sold at the downtown farmers market in Brunswick as well as three other markets. He said he is trying to shift to growing marijuana, “utilizing this beautiful farmland, at the same time trying to simplify our life a little more by not having to go to four farmers markets a week and growing 120 varieties of flowers.”

“We’re farmers,” Gill said. “A lot of people get into this industry and especially the cannabis industry that don’t know anything about growing.”

It’s a risky business because a lot can go wrong with a crop, from weather to insects. The state taxes harvested marijuana and requires testing, putting costs at about $350 a batch the Portland Press Herald reported. That means marijuana prices tend to be higher at marijuana at retails stores compared to medical marijuana stores, Gill said. That should change once the recreational marijuana market stabilizes.


Growing outside has advantages and lowers costs, Gill said. The farmer doesn’t need indoor lights and fans needed to grow marijuana inside, which generates large electricity bills.

“There’s something about real sun and real nutrients,” Gill said. “I think it’s a more natural, more environmentally friendly way.”

Gill said his farm could start growing the first outdoor marijuana.

That remains to be seen, said David Heidrich, a spokesperson for Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy.

Heidrich said there are two other applicants interested in growing marijuana outside, one in Thorndike and Somerville. It is a matter of who gets local approval, obtains an active license through his office, and starts their business first. Mystique is the only recreational pot business seeking a license to grow in Bowdoinham according to the state database.

The planning board will also get its first look Thursday at two other applications seeking permission to grow recreational marijuana in town on Thursday.

David Berry plans to lease a 72-foot long greenhouse on his property at 21 Dinsmore Cross Road. Berry said a tenant will grow the marijuana for recreational use in the former tomato greenhouse.

Scott Gallant is also seeking permission to grow marijuana at 17 School St. Attempts to reach Gallant were unsuccessful Tuesday.

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