Site found for Portland pot dispensary

September 28th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

The marijuana facility will open near Longfellow Square if it gets final city and state approvals.

By Dennis Hoey
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Northeast Patients Group has secured a lease that will enable it to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Portland.

Executive Director Becky DeKeuster confirmed Tuesday that her organization plans to operate a dispensary at 685 Congress St.

The property, near Longfellow Square and adjacent to the Local 188 restaurant, must be renovated and converted into a secure facility – video cameras and steel doors are just two of the requirements – to comply with state regulations for dispensaries.

DeKeuster said her nonprofit organization still needs site plan approval from the city’s Planning Board and a certificate of registration from the state.

Patients will be able to come to the dispensary to get medical marijuana and have an opportunity to participate in yoga classes, get massages or even have acupuncture treatments, DeKeuster said.

“We really want to try to build community in each of our dispensaries,” she said. “And part of our mission is to help patients with their total wellness.”

Northeast Patients Group holds four of Maine’s eight available dispensary permits. It opened a dispensary last month in Thomaston, it is opening a dispensary on Water Street in Hallowell, and it is negotiating a lease for a fourth dispensary in the Bangor-Brewer area.

DeKeuster said issues with local zoning, searches for suitable locations and project financing have delayed dispensary openings statewide.


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