May 22, 2018
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Frenchville likely pot dispensary site

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — A Fort Kent nonprofit, Safe Alternatives, was selected in July by the state to operate medical marijuana facilities for Aroostook County, and most people thought the clinic would be located in that town.

But officials in Frenchville learned recently that the community more than likely will be host to the soon-to-open dispensary and a cultivation center, Town Manager Joe Levesque said Friday.

“Initially, they were going to be building in Fort Kent, and in the last minute switched to Frenchville,” he said. “We have a public information meeting scheduled for next Tuesday” to educate residents.

Fort Kent resident Mills “Leo” Trudell, CEO of Safe Alternatives, would like to use a house he owns in town for the joint medical marijuana clinic and growing center, Levesque said.

“It’s an older home he’s owned in town for a year or two,” he said. “He’s looking to convert that.”

Safe Alternatives was selected by the Department of Health and Human Services to serve Aroostook County, and listed a St. David address for the cultivation center in Madawaska and a Fort Kent address for the clinic on the application.

The dual facility now is planned for 479 Route 1 in Frenchville.

The DHHS’ Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services has the task of inspecting facilities and registering them, said John Thiele, project manager for the Maine Use of Medical Marijuana Program.

Thiele recently inspected the Frenchville locale for Safe Alternatives and approved its registration.

“I think they’re looking [to open] sometime in December,” he said.

Levesque said the town has no rules regarding medical marijuana facilities, and will wait until after next week’s meeting to determine whether new rules need to be created.

“I have no problem with” medical marijuana facilities, he said. “I know there is a need for it as long as it’s controlled.”

The public information meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the community center.

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