Portland doughnut shop seeks zone change to allow retail pot sales

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A plan to redevelop part of the Tony’s Donuts property on outer Congress Street for other uses, including retail marijuana sales, will go before the Portland Planning Board next week.

Tony’s Donuts previously went before the Planning Board in September, seeking to rezone the 1217 Congress St. parcel. The property, more than 12,000 square feet, contains a former gas station at the corner of Congress and Bolton streets.

Maine Cannabis Consultants provides licensing assistance, business planning, compliance support, and municipal outreach for marijuana businesses.

According to the city’s Planning Department, the land is in the B-1 neighborhood business zone. The application is to switch to the B-2 community business zone, which would allow a broader array of uses.

B-1 limits the property to small-scale, neighborhood-level developments, and prohibits retail marijuana sales; B-2 allows for higher intensity businesses, including motor vehicle sale and repair businesses, car washes, drive-through restaurants, and retail marijuana. The B-2 zone is more commonly found on Brighton Avenue and Forest Avenue.

Amanda Melnick of Maine Cannabis Consultants was a representative for the property in the Sept. 22 presentation to the Planning Board.

A development proposal was not included in the last set of Planning Board materials, although the potential for marijuana is routinely cited. Redevelopment of the gas station for future retail use or other professional services is also listed.