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Sustainable Craft Cannabis at Paul’s Boutique

"On top of creating a sustainable zero-waste cultivation facility, Dwight’s new location will add another 15 employees."

Photo by Charles Taggart

When Cannabis became legal for medical caregivers growing in Maine, Shaw Dwight wanted to get into the growing new industry. He had done his fair share of closet cultivation in his youth and with Cannabis opening up in the Northeast, he wanted in – and like every diehard serial entrepreneur, he went all in.

Dwight sold his house in the South and acquired credit cards to help start his first caregiver grow many miles to the north in Maine, and in 2014 launched Paul’s Boutique out of a two-car garage in North Windham. Fast forward to today: The grow has been moved and massively upgraded, they’ve opened a dispensary and a facility dedicated to refining Cannabis concentrates, and are working on a new recreational site that will be one of the largest eco-friendly Cannabis cultivation facilities in Maine.

This all-in attitude has absolutely paid off. Paul’s Boutique has won competitions such as the High Times Cannabis Cup, and placed multiple times at the New England Cannabis Harvest Cup for flower and concentrates – earning the company a reputation for having some of the best pot products in the state.

Paul's Boutique Dispensary

Dwight and his wife make a point to be as eco-friendly as possible in cultivating Cannabis, designing their new facility to save energy, heat and water. The site will be a state-of-the-art, zero-waste facility, helping the couple keep the company’s carbon footprint at a minimum.

They broke ground on the new facility (located across the street from the dispensary) in March 2021, with plans to open sometime in the spring of 2022.

Instead of hiring an outside firm, Dwight is operating as the general contractor for the project, having previous contracting experience. As we entered the building for a tour, the relationship was evident as he stopped to talk with several of the workers at the site.

Paul's Boutique Dispensary

The new 13,000-square-foot cultivation facility has space enough for multiple smaller rooms that will be used for cloning, vegetating, drying and processing. There will also be three large flowering rooms, as well as space for creating extracts, an area for offices and a separate room for lighting ballasts.

The LED lights Dwight is using at this grow are especially unique, as they have separate ballasts. Many lights used for cultivation require an accompanying ballast, which gives off unwanted heat in the grow space. These LEDs allow for the ballasts to be housed in a separate room, cutting down on heat in the grow and allowing for better temperature control throughout the facility. With 75,000 watts per finish room, these full-spectrum LEDs significantly reduce heat – meaning they reduce electrical and utility needs. Dwight’s lighting and his close collaboration with Energy Efficiency Maine (EEM) will help make the location one of the most efficient electric-use grow facilities in the state.

Paul's Boutique Dispensary

Their innovative nod to cleanliness cannot be ignored either. The air ducts to the rooms are all outside and above the different grow pod platforms below, allowing easy access for cleaning and less of a chance for possible contamination from dust that can kick up during changing or cleaning within the grow rooms.

As he unwrapped the Automated Reclaim Condensate System, Dwight explained how it collects the water runoff or leach water. Leach water often contains high amounts of nitrates, phosphates and salts after watering or flushing the plants. The system filters, boils and separates the water it collects, so the nutrients and waste that would otherwise just go down the drain are collected as sludge that a waste management company picks up and disposes of properly. The steamed water is then cleaned and reused.

The system will recycle more than 80 percent of the water used, or an estimated 500 thousand gallons a year that would have otherwise gone down the drain into the public underground water system.

After seeing and understanding what he is doing, I asked Dwight if he would be consulting with other Cannabis cultivation companies to help implement his eco-friendly concepts. He smiled and informed me that he’s currently consulting on a project in a nearby state in the Northeast.

Paul's Boutique Dispensary
Photo by Charles Taggart

On top of creating a sustainable, zero-waste recreational cultivation facility, Dwight’s new location will add another 15 employees – proving that Cannabis companies create jobs and stimulate the local economy. The current Paul’s Boutique employees that I spoke to told me they love working there, citing a good living wage and a positive working environment.

Hands down, a stop by Paul’s Boutique dispensary is highly recommended. You’ll certainly see why the company has earned so much respect in the Northeast – and after sampling their products – you’ll understand why they’ve become one of the top craft Cannabis companies in Maine.

Photos by @kindbud.photos

This article was originally published in the April 2022 issue of Northeast Leaf.

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