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Politics

Portland Council Approves Retail Marijuana License Ordinance That Favors Maine Residents

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Steven Senne
/
Associated Press/file
In this March 25, 2018 file photo, a visitor examines a marijuana sample at the New England Cannabis Convention in Boston.

The Portland City Council has approved a local marijuana ordinance that gives an advantage to Maine residents as it issues retail licenses based on a point system.In giving a nod to Maine residents the city of Portland is parting company with the state of Maine, which last week announced it had decided against a residency requirement.  The Portland Press Herald reports that the state decided it could not defend a legal challenge by Wellness Connection of Maine, Maine's largest medical marijuana operator.

The Press Herald says the council is capping the number of retail marijuana licenses at 20 and will assign points in eight categories. The highest points will be meted out to businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, and to owners who have experience running a highly regulated businesses.  Maine residents will also get a relatively large boost.

Points would also be awarded for things such as being a marijuana caregiver and having at least $150,000 in liquid assets.

Opponents of the license cap have said they are considering collecting signatures for a local referendum that would seek to remove the cap.