At their Dec. 6 meeting, Vassalboro Planning Board members unanimously approved a site review permit for Joseph O’Donnell to open a medical marijuana growing business at 960 Main Street, in North Vassalboro. The facility will use less than 1,000 square feet on the third (top) floor of the building in the old mill complex.
The review process was complicated by lack of information: board members did not know whether there was another marijuana growing operation on the second floor of the same building. If there were two, totaling more than 1,000 square feet, Vassalboro’s Marijuana Business Ordinance would apply.
Voters approved the Marijuana Business Ordinance in June 2021. Its purpose is “to prohibit Marijuana Businesses, as defined, in the Town of Vassalboro, unless they were in lawful operation or had received site plan or building permit approval for the use prior to the Effective Date of this Ordinance.”
The ordinance has several exceptions. The one allowing O’Donnell to open his facility exempts “a building or lot containing less than 1,000 square feet of area in the aggregate that is used for cultivation of medical marijuana by one or more Registered Caregivers pursuant to 22 M.R.S. § 2423-A.”
By Dec. 8, interim codes officer Paul Mitnik had learned that there is a second-floor growing operation, and that it is illegal under current Vassalboro ordinances.
The second-floor business was originally approved in May 2019, according to the Dec….