Old Orchard Beach man wants to open medical marijuana research facility in former post office

A May 2014 file photo of medical marijuana.
A May 2014 file photo of medical marijuana. Buy Photo
Posted July 11, 2014, at 2:55 p.m.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — An Old Orchard Beach man wants to launch a medical marijuana business aimed at science, not sales.

Pierre Bouthiller, and two partners, are proposing to turn a former Saco Avenue post office into a medical marijuana facility.

Bouthiller said there’s an agreement to lease the 4,000-square-foot space.

Once it’s gutted and cleaned, it will be sectioned off so that licensed caregivers can have a safe place to grow without fear of break-ins or violence.

But the bigger goal is research and development to improve understanding of medical marijuana.

The group wants to do third-party lab testing to ensure products are certified and consistent batch to batch, and it wants to eventually produce oils, ointments and baked goods.

“We think, we hope, we believe,” said Bouthiller. “We ‘know’ what we want to be able to hang our hat on. We know this works for this ailment, and it’s structured in this way.”

Approval will ultimately depend on getting the green light from the state. Bouthiller said statutes on medical marijuana don’t directly address research.

“That is going to be a little more challenging in terms of working our way through either the Legislature or with [the Maine Department of] Health and Human Services, and see how we can actually structure the licensing aspect of that,” he said.

Old Orchard Beach Police Chief Dana Kelley said he needs more information, but his initial concerns have to do with location and what kind of impact the business will have on the neighborhood.

 

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