ME: Portland Passes Moratorium To Delay Opening Of Marijuana Businesses

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a six-month moratorium that will give the city time to develop regulations governing retail marijuana establishments.

The moratorium, which takes effect immediately, will delay the opening of any stores, cultivation facilities, testing facilities or social clubs that sell marijuana for consumption.

City councilors took less than five minutes to vote on the measure. There was no public comment and no discussion among councilors.

The city staff says the moratorium will give Portland more time to understand the impact of the marijuana legalization initiative that Maine voters passed on Nov. 8.

If the voting results are confirmed in a recount, Question 1 will legalize recreational use of marijuana and allow municipalities to regulate marijuana businesses. It would allow adults 21 and older to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana, grow their own plants, and buy marijuana from licensed retail stores. It also calls for a 10 percent sales tax on marijuana.

Portland plans to draft licensing rules and ordinances to limit where in the city such businesses can operate.

Numerous Maine communities — including South Portland, Westbrook, Gray, Saco, Kennebunk, New Gloucester, Brewer, Bangor, Gardiner, Skowhegan and Clinton — have enacted or are considering moratoriums on retail marijuana establishments and social clubs.

Danielle West-Chuhta, Portland's city attorney, said in a memo to councilors that Bangor recently approved a moratorium.

Portland councilors balked at fast-tracking an emergency retail marijuana moratorium the night before the Nov. 8 election, voting 6-3 against it while expressing concern that any emergency action could influence voting on Question 1.


News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Portland Passes Moratorium To Delay Opening Of Marijuana Businesses
Author: Dennis Hoey
Contact: (207) 791-6650
Photo Credit: Eric Reed
Website: Portland Press Herald
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