The news that Northeast Patients Group has finally signed a lease for its long awaited medical marijuana dispensary at 685 Congress Street, Portland, came as no surprise to its closest neighbor – popular Restaurant Local 188.
Northeast Patients Group has been looking for the right location in which to install the city’s first and only dispensary for medical marijuana. Rumors had circulated for a time that a former bank building located on outer Congress Street was the company’s first choice, although the deal never materialized. The site finally settled on is at 685 Congress Street, directly behind Local 188 and in the same building, but with a separate entrance. The location has been vacant for a few years and formerly housed an alarm and fire protection company.
Jay Villiani, chef/owner of Local 188 and Sonny’s said early this afternoon that his landlord told him several months ago that he was talking with the Group about renting the property for the dispensary. “I have no moral problem with this at all,” Villiani said at his restaurant. “I am concerned about public perception though. I would like to think we live in a progressive society.”
Villiani said he expects to go to planning board meetings to hear and digest the details. The State also needs to give its approval.