ROCKLAND — A new downtown business has opened its doors in Rockland on Main Street, a first of its kind location along the Midcoast.
Scrimshaw Cannabis, a medical marijuana dispensary with on-site growing, has been opened by Nick Westervelt at 500 Main Street, the former home of a Baptist church and an antique shop.
Westervelt said his shop is the first of its kind on the East Coast as the shop will exhibit its vegetative and flowering rooms to the general public, showcase its process and invite the public to learn alongside the staff.
In the past, Westervelt worked as a pig farmer, marketing grass-fed local meats to restaurants. Now in the growing medical marijuana business, he, as he likes to say, just changed crops.
People, Westervelt said, were curious about the process of raising his livestock and wanted to see his operation.
Now growing cannabis, Westervelt felt customers deserved the opportunity to see the cannabis growth process.
“This industry has always been so secretive, and rightfully so, but now we have people growing in their back yards all over the state, they deserve to see how the professionals do it,” he said.
On his website, he likened the scientific growing process of cannabis to the scientific growing process of mold on cheese, calling the processes “a wonderful mix of complexity and simplicity” and “an attempt to control another living thing that has its own agenda.”
“With all this interest in the marijuana cultivation industry we thought it’d be good to provide some visual aids, to bring the conversation out into the open, to demystify,” he stated on his website.
With his new endeavor, Westervelt hopes to erase the lingering stigma and shame associated with cannabis.
“Such a large swath of the population is seeing the benefits from this plant, it’s getting a lot harder to feel bad about it,” he said.
Part of that mission is working to help educate the general public, explaining the ins and outs of the industry to not only town officials but to customers and non-customers.
Westervelt noted that though his business has been received by Rockland cautiously, he was treated with the same fairness and open ears as any other new business and has enjoyed learning the civic process.
Looking at local and state ordinances and laws governing medical marijuana storefronts, Westervelt said the process has been slow, though he understands many people have to become comfortable with the idea.
Why open a medical marijuana shop in Rockland of all municipalities?
“I figured the Arts Capital of Maine needed a cannabis shop to match,” Westervelt said. “Cannabis has long been associated with creativity and expression, with helping folks get out of their comfort zones or connect with their senses. We talk about medical marijuana so clinically, for pain or sleep issues, but we have to remember that reconnecting with your creative or expressive side has incredible benefits for your body and general health. The people of Rockland are very progressive, we’ve received a lot of support for all sorts of folks.”
The name Scrimshaw, Westervelt said, is a nod to the city’s rich maritime history.
Scrimshaw is the term for the intricate technique of carving the bones of marine mammals developed by sailors, Westervelt stated, while noting the shop has a variety of scrimshaw artifacts on display.
The shop offers a wide array of medicinal products which contain either THC or CBD and an assortment of glassware and vaporizers.
Visitors from out-of-state are able to purchase from Westervelt’s store if they possess a medical marijuana card in their state.
CBD products can be purchased without a medical marijuana card, Westervelt noted.
Scrimshaw will be open from noon to 7 p.m. everyday except for Tuesdays. Though Westervelt had been delivering to customers, with the storefront location now open deliveries have been discontinued.
A grand opening ceremony will be held Friday, June 7 and all members of the public are invited, even those without medical marijuana cards as cards are not required to come in and watch the growth process.
For more information, visit Scrimshaw online at scrimshawcannabis.com.
Reach George Harvey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.