Voters in Portland, Maine will vote in November whether or not to remove the city’s cap on cannabis businesses, News Center Maine reports. The successful campaign comes more than two months after the state reached a legal agreement with cannabusiness that had sued the state that will prevent officials from enforcing an industry resident requirement.
David Boyer, who led the campaign, said removing the cap will allow for “a fair and open market” since “the state has proved it will not defend Maine from outside, big corporations” entering the state’s industry.
“At a time of such economic uncertainty, it does not make sense to cap legal jobs and legal businesses. We are confident that Portland voters will endorse cannabis regulations rooted in fairness and inclusivity this November.” – Boyer in a statement via News Center Maine
The campaign collected more than 2,400 petition signatures; 1,500 were required. The initiative will be read during an Aug. 3 City Council meeting, with a public hearing on the measure expected on Aug. 31.
Maine was sued by the Wellness Connection and Wellness and Pain Management Connection of Delaware, subsidiaries of High Street Capital Partners of Delaware, arguing that the residency requirement included in the state’s cannabis legalization law violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution which forbids restrictive and discriminatory commercial regulations between the states.
In May, the Portland City Council voted to keep the residency requirements intact despite the outcome of the lawsuit against the state. Supporters of that decision said the city’s residency regulations would be easier to defend in court because unlike the state’s four-year residency requirement locals will get preferential treatment by the city only if it gets more than 20 applications and must break a tie among those with similar business experience, bank deposits, and employee wages.
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