Portland Maine Unveils Proposed Rules For Cannabis Businesses

The city in central looks to cap licenses at 20 total

Portland officials unveiled a proposed licensing regime for adult use and medical marijuana operations on Friday that would cap the number of retail stores at 20 citywide and possibly lead to more restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The proposed rules, which recommend a $10,000 a year annual license for marijuana retail stores, will receive an initial review by City Council’s Health & Human Services and Public Safety and its Economic Development committees on Tuesday. No votes or public hearings are expected and it’s unclear when the committees will make a recommendation to the full council.

“This is the first time councilors will have a chance to weigh in on what staff has put together,” said City Councilor Justin Costa, who leads the Economic Development Committee. “I think we’ll have some open discussion and try to come to a general agreement on what our process will be moving forward.”

Voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older nearly three years ago. In June, Gov. Janet Mills, who previously served as the state attorney general, signed a set of state rules, which take effect in September, that spell out how much marijuana Mainers can grow, buy and and sell. Recreational sales could begin as soon as March.

The recreational law allows cities and towns to decide if they will opt into the market, and set local rules. So far, at least 14 of the state’s 455 municipalities have opted in.

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