Matthew Baron

Portland, Maine Releases Cannabis Industry Regulations Proposal

Officials in Portland, Maine, have released a proposal for city-wide cannabis industry regulations. According to the working group responsible for the rules, the city aims to generally treat adult-use and medical cannabis similarly.

Full story after the jump.

Proposed cannabis industry regulations by officials in Portland, Maine, would cap the number of dispensaries in the city at 20 and require an annual $10,000 licensing fee, the Portland Press Herald reports.

The proposal would ban mobile sales, deliveries, and mail-order sales; although, caregivers could still deliver to patients. However, according to a report by city staff who worked on the proposal, recreational cannabis regulations could also bring more rules for the medical side.

According to the staff memo, the working group indicated they have been trying “to generally treat medical and adult use marijuana uses similarly.”

“The challenge in doing so is that the state has adopted extensive regulations for adult use marijuana uses, but not for medical uses. The regulations for medical uses are significantly less comprehensive, leaving what staff feels are gaps in protections for consumers, the City, and neighbors. For that reason, the proposed licensing tries to address those gaps.” – Portland Cannabis Working Group, Marijuana Business Licensing Overview memo

The working group suggests three cultivation tiers – from just 500 square feet of canopy to 7,000 square feet – and two types of manufacturing licenses, one for “low hazard processes” and another for “higher hazards.” Medical and recreational sales would occur in separate dispensaries and the caregiver system in place in the state would remain intact.

The staff proposed that retail licenses should be awarded on a “first-qualified, first-licensed bases.” If a company failed to open its store within one year they would forfeit their license. Applicants would also have to employ a community relations liaison, have written permission from their landlord, disclose all of the chemicals being used in operation and processes, and have plans in place for security, waste disposal, and quality control.

The proposal also prohibits edibles from being made in shapes that could appeal to children or adding cannabis to existing consumer products.

The state Health and Human Services, Public Safety, and Economic Development committees are expected to discuss the proposal on Tuesday.

Maine legalized cannabis four years ago; however, largely due to former Republican Gov. Paul LePage have been unable to rollout the industry in earnest.

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