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Portland Council To Consider Limits On Number Of Retail Marijuana Stores

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press/file
In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, James MacWilliams prunes a marijuana plant that he is growing indoors in Portland, Maine.

The Portland City Council tonight will consider proposed new rules that would limit the number of retail marijuana stores in the city to 20.Applicants would be chosen based on criteria that include whether the owners have lived in Maine for at least five years; have ever worked within the legal medical or recreational marijuana industry; how long they've been at the location where they plan to operate; and how far that is from a school.

Owners with $150,000 in liquid assets would also get points. David Boyer, an industry consultant and activist, says that would unfairly exclude a good number of applicants.

"You know, this isn't a requirement for a lot of other businesses - for restaurants, for bars to open up, for coffee shops - to have six figures in the bank account to open a small business," Boyer says. "A lot of Mainers don't have that."

Boyer also says 20 shops might not be enough to serve the market, and that the local prohibition on delivery that's also part of the proposed rules leaves the door open for illegal delivery. There's a public hearing on the issue Tuesday at 5:30 at Portland City Hall.

Originally published Nov. 26, 2019 at 2:08 p.m. ET.