SULLIVAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Did a business in Hancock County discover a loophole that would allow them to open a marijuana social club later this year?
In Early September, a page dedicated to a new business concept in Sullivan, called The Hippie “Hideaway”, popped up on Facebook.
Residents became concerned that this meant someone had plans to open an illegal marijuana social club in the town. At Tuesday's marijuana implementation public hearing, a woman testified that the folks behind the Hippie Hideaway were planning on opening it under the guise of a private residence.
NEWS CENTER went to the address on the Hippie Hideaway's Facebook page. What we found was a business called Taunton Bay Tea and Soap Company.
The company sells products infused with Kratom, another legal but controversial drug.
"For the record it's not a residence," Owner, Norman Bamford, said, "nobody smokes marijuana here."
Bamford says he and his business partners have no plans to open a marijuana social club, despite the rumors. However the Hippie Hideaway is a actual idea. Their store front in Sullivan is the site of their click-and-mortar shop, they've began adding elements of the hideaway to the building. In the back of the shop were glass pipes and artwork, Bamford plans to sell once he and his partners acquire a tobacco license. Although some of the pipes had price tags on them, they claim they aren't actually for sale at the moment.
"We are going to make sure that we have that license in place before," Veronika Bamford-Collins, the other owner said.
The basement of the building housed other Taunton Bay Tea and Soap Company operations. NEWS CENTER was given a guided tour of the facility, which included office space, a place to make Kratom products, a shipping center, and even a gym.
Our reporters did not smell marijuana inside our outside the building.