Kittery ME Marijuana Shop Lottery Draws Three Legal Cannabis Winners


KITTERY, Maine – In front of an enthusiastic crowd, city officials on Thursday called the numbers of three lucky lottery winners in the town hall council chamber.

No, it wasn’t the Maine State Lottery. These people were entrants in Kittery’s Highly Anticipated Retail Marijuana Store License Lottery. Ping pong balls numbered 8, 124 and 113 were drawn at random from a shiny brass raffle drum among hundreds of participants, making three lucky winners very happy with a lucrative business opportunity.

The winners are Mitchell Delaney, who plans to open a boutique in 181 national road; Brandon Pollock, who plans to open a boutique in 41 Route 236; and Nick Friedman whose planned location is 8 way Dexter, Unit 4.

Brandon Pollock and Nick Friedman, who bought hundreds of lottery tickets at a cost of around a quarter of a million dollars, are listed as co-founders of Well-being Theory, which operates numerous marijuana businesses in Massachusetts and Maine.

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The three winners get the first dibs for Kittery’s three coveted retail marijuana licenses, though their proposals must get city approval. The remaining entries are placed on a waiting list in the order in which they were drawn in the lottery.

Mitchell Delaney, owner of Indico medical marijuana dispensary in Kittery, reacts as he is raffled as the first lottery winner of the city's retail marijuana stores on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at the hotel city.

Kittery gets a lot of money for the big lottery

As recently as last week, Kittery announced that more than 700 lottery entries have been submitted at a non-refundable cost of $ 750 each, raise over $ 535,000 for the city’s general fund.

City manager Kendra Amaral said each ping-pong ball was numbered and would be shot by Maryann Place, the city’s retired clerk who didn’t know which candidate matched which numbered ball. For each individual zone lottery draw, Place spun the raffle drum three times before drawing the balls at random. “It really is a blind draw,” Amaral said.

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One winner was chosen for each of the three areas of Kittery, known as C-1 (Ripley Road and Route 1 area), C-2 (Route 236) and C-3 (Route 1 Bypass, State Road and Old Post Road Region).

What We Know About Kittery Marijuana Shop Lottery Winners

Mitchell Delaney, owner of Indico Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Kittery, displays his winning number in the City Marijuana Retail Stores Lottery on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at City Hall.

The first random winner was Delaney, owner of Indico medical marijuana dispensary at 120 State Road in Kittery. He won the C-3 lottery, which had 11 entries, and plans to open an adult marijuana store at 181 State Road.

Dressed in a black sweatshirt with the neon lettering of his medical dispensary activity, Delaney was sitting at the back of the boardroom Thursday night.

He submitted 10 pre-applications, spending $ 7,500 to request different retail addresses and create separate entities, spread across the three zones of the lottery. After the announcement of his winning lottery number, he bit back tears.

“I am trembling and I am moved,” he said. “It’s been a long journey. “

Delaney had submitted his lottery applications the day before their due date last week.

Pollock and Friedman, with over 350 entries combined, were drawn as the next lottery winners.

The name of Pollock’s entity is Well Field 44 LLC. He was the winner of 248 entries in zone C-2. Friedman, whose entity name is Golden Road 111 LLC, was the winner of 446 Zone C-1 entries.

Attempts to contact Pollock and Friedman for comment were unsuccessful.

Kittery lottery process called for lack of “social fairness”?

Among those in attendance at the lottery were David Leavitt, who identified himself as a cannabis lawyer, and Katharine Thomas, who identified himself as a social equity advocate.

Moments after Friedman was named the third and final lottery winner, the two stood outside City Hall, threatening to sue the city.

Kittery Town Manager Kendra Amaral announces the lottery rules for the town's marijuana retail stores on Thursday, October 28, 2021 at Town Hall.

Their reason? Leavitt and Thomas claimed that Kittery’s pre-application process did not welcome marginalized lottery contestants, including their own client, Darius Gerald, by asking questions about gender, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ + and veteran status, or socio-economic status in the lottery entry. Both said Gerald is a black veteran who couldn’t afford to submit more than one application for the C-1 zone lottery.

Opposing companies that had the financial means to submit large numbers of lottery entries unfairly disadvantages Gerald’s candidacy, they argued.

“Unfortunately, we have to draw attention to this now because it is unfair,” Thomas said. “We have a military veteran who applied and his (candidacy) did not receive the proper recognition in this lottery system. It is regrettable. “

By comparison, they noted, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities has a “Adult Cannabis Social Equity Program“, Whose objective is to connect” people and communities who have been historically affected by arrests and jail terms for cannabis offenses so that they have the opportunity to participate in the industry legal cannabis, ”according to the program’s website.

Legal action has been taken against the state for issues arising from the program, which consistently led to white applicants receiving higher business application scores than the minority people he was supposed to help.

Amaral said the city had received a call from Leavitt and Thomas, asking that “social equity points” be considered and added to a minority person’s nomination for the lottery.

Previous story:Over 700 entries for the Kittery marijuana shop lottery raise $ 535,000 for the city

The city then had a meeting with the two people several weeks after the ordinance was passed. Amaral said they did not voice their concerns during the entire process of creating the ordinance, which began at the town planning council level in February and allowed for public input.

“This is not how the ordinance was worded,” Amaral said of their concerns. “Kittery currently has no ordinance in terms of business licenses or anything related to our land use code that identifies or distinguishes one group, person or identity over others.”

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