Originally published in The Weekly Packet, February 16, 2017
Supply store blooms in Blue Hill
For organic, hydroponic supplies
by Anne Berleant
Catering to indoor and outdoor home growers, the Gravelwood Farm Grow Store plans a mid-March opening, in about 1,200 square feet of space on the Ellsworth Road.
“I think we’re going to create a nice little shop,” owner Dan Brown said.
Brown hopes to fill a gap in demand for organic indoor hydroponic and outdoor growing supplies, most of which he said are not available locally, especially organic fertilizer.
“You don’t want to just put MiracleGro down,” he said, because the chemicals will end up in a product grown to be smoked.
Brown, a licensed medical marijuana caregiver, is not afraid to state the obvious, that his new business is prompted by the legalization of marijuana passed in the November 2016 election. Brown said that he foresees current clients starting their own cultivation of plants, a prime reason for opening the store.
“Everyone in the state has the right to grow marijuana,” he said. “This [store] has everything you need to do that.”
While medical marijuana laws have not changed, individuals will no longer need to go through the process of having a doctor prescribe marijuana in order to grow it.
“I think the future of the industry has really forced me into it,” he said. At the same time, Brown said he saw an opportunity to open a store and offer supplies and information.
“As I’m losing clients [as a caregiver], I can still work with those same people, and recommend products,” he said.
Legal retail marijuana sales and cultivation is still months away, with many local towns placing moratoria, giving time to evaluate and either draft ordinances to regulate, or prohibit or restrict retail establishments.
“It’s a very gray area, very tricky, where [potential growers] will get seeds and plants, because nothing is going to be legal for a year,” Brown said. However, he pointed out that giving away seeds or plants within legal limits is within the law.
And the growing supplies, including organic fertilizer, hydroponic supplies and lights, are not just for growing pot, Brown said, but for any kind of organic indoor or outdoor growing.
While Brown is behind the store counter, his wife and partner at Gravelwood Farm, Judy Brown, will tend to the farm, he said. As harvest times come, “we’ll figure it out as we go.”