We have been operating the Tree of Life Day Spa and Acadia School of Massage in Bar Harbor for over 15 years. This business has been employing island residents in year round jobs since inception in 2005. We assumed the SalonNaturelles from the founder in July 2020. The salon has operated as a year round business since 2014 and employing individuals in providing year round employment as well. We plan to open Love Me Cannabis as a retail store utilizing the same management and employ additional local staff to operate.
We are endeavoring to have the town of Bar Harbor to allow adult use cannabis stores to operate within the town. Maine voters passed the legalization of cannabis in November 2016. The adult use cannabis businesses regulations, established by the State of Maine Department of Marijuana policy, were adopted in June 2019 gave subsequent authority to allow businesses to open in October 2020. In these regulations, the state gave the local jurisdictions the decision making authority to opt in and allow adult use cannabis establishments to open. We endured the rigorous process and were approved by the state with a conditional license to operate an adult use retail store in August 2020. We submitted a request for jurisdictional approval to the town council in September 2020. The town council met several times to discuss the process and they determined they didn’t have the bandwidth to draft an ordinance. Therefore, we are drafting an ordinance based on surrounding towns, such as Southwest Harbor, to share with our local elected officials. The first step is creating a committee of citizens who support the initiative which is where we would appreciate your help as a resident and voter in Bar Harbor. The next step is to submit the draft of the ordinance to the town and obtain signatures from townspeople who also support the initiative. Once certified by the town, the ordinance can be adopted by the town council or will be placed on the ballot to be voted on by the public in November. The two public opinion polls that were conducted by the town both had results with an overwhelming majority in favor of opting in.
Benefits for the town
The pandemic has forced the permanent closure of many businesses in Bar Harbor but we have preserved with the support of our townspeople. It has been a difficult year for Bar Harbor, the pandemic restrictions and forced closures created many hardships on the town. We have a “new normal” to adjust to. Our town relies on tourism for so much more than revenue to the town but stable employment for our year round residents. It should be noted the cannabis stores face more regulatory oversight than any other retail business in the state. The owners and all employees are subject to stringent background checks which are performed annually. We would be offering more year round employment by opening in Bar Harbor who also contribute to the economy of the town by living and shopping here. In addition, the sales tax revenue from all businesses in the town are shared with the municipality each year. The higher the sales tax revenue the larger the amount of revenue is shared with the town. With the reduced number of businesses and tourists, our town will have a reduced amount in the coming years. Therefore, the ability to open new businesses will contribute to counterbalance the lost revenues related to shuttered businesses.
We need YOUR help and support to push this initiative forward. Please ask any and all questions, provide insights, feedback and thoughts. We want to hear from you. Email at LoveMeCannabis@gmail.com