By: Nick Westervelt
We can all agree that we’re currently experiencing a renaissance in farming, I’ve been caught up in the movement for almost 20 years and still find it to be more and more interesting every day. I started in High School, as a farm hand on a small sheep and beef operation in Cumberland, herding errant cows down the road or trimming hooves all day as I stuck the shears in my thumb one too many times. Later when I moved away from Maine I ended up owning a farm in Upstate New York, still raising livestock, this time mostly pigs.
I moved back to Maine a few years before the recent referendum passed to grow marijuana. I was part of what folks are calling “The Green Rush.” The Green Rush is a term used to describe the shift of labor, resources, and entrepreneurs from across the country into this burgeoning market. For a state like ours that hasn’t had significant upgrades to our agricultural infrastructure since the chicken wave of the ‘60s and ‘70s, it is imperative to take advantage of the new reality.
When our voters passed question #1 in 2016 allowing recreational sales of marijuana, caregivers like myself were finally given the opportunity to hang up a shingle. Towns up and down the coast have allowed small business owners like myself open shops that weren’t really accepted prior. I approached City Hall to see what was needed to open in Rockland, which kicked off a lengthy discussion with multiple arms of our local government, culminating in an ordinance allowing my shop and others like it to open just like any other business. The culmination of those ideas is Scrimshaw, a medical marijuana store and glass studio currently in process for 500 Main St.
At Scrimshaw we will be dedicated to the demystification of marijuana through education and open interaction. We have a strong drive to educate, working with a “no stupid questions” guideline so that we can meet the needs of our clientele to expand their familiarity with the products. The culture around marijuana is changing, and we are excited to help shape this new frontier. We strive to remove societal stigmas associated with medical marijuana use, to have our doors open to the community, to be a prominent voice in the statewide legalization movement, and to promote research and innovation within the Maine marijuana industry.
As a young entrepreneur, one of my strongest skills is my ability to bend paradigms. Society is changing, and lots of conversations are being had about marijuana, its value, its place. While others, including our government at times, may get mired in the abstract, we prefer to move these conversations to the forefront by simply participating, and by engaging with those around us. For a long time, the marijuana industry was only able to survive on secrets, but we’d like to invert that, by putting our grow operation on display within our shop. We’d like to invite any and all who are curious to come and see what we do on a day to day basis, and watch the plants grow with us.