Voters in Portland, Maine will be called to vote on the city’s cap on the number of cannabis business licenses, deciding whether or not to remove the law currently in place. Portland City Council voted to keep residency requirements intact despite the outcome of a lawsuit by subsidiaries of High Street Capital Partners of Delaware, who argued that the residency requirement violates the commerce clause of the U.S constitution which prevents discriminatory commercial regulations between the states.
Supporters of Portland City Council’s Decision said that the city’s regulation requirements will be easier to fight in court. This is because unlike the state’s four year residency requirement, local individuals can get preferential treatment only if it gets twenty or more applications, and is competitive in business experience, bank deposits, and employee wages.
The campaign to vote on Portland Maine's cannabis licenses collected more than 2,400 signatures, though only 1,500 were required for placement on the ballot. The initiative, which will be read at an August 3rd council meeting, will be accompanied by a public hearing on the measure on August 31st. The vote will take place during the November election cycle.
David Boyer, who led the campaign, cited uncertain economic climate as a leading reason not to cap legal jobs and businesses in a comment to News Center Maine. He also expressed confidence that Portland Voters would endorse cannabis regulations rooted in fairness and inclusivity come November.
Boyer went on to state that the removal of an industry cap will allow for a more fair and open market. He noted that the state of Maine has made it clear that it will not defend local business owners from big, outside corporations intruding on the state’s cannabis industry.
Local cannabusiness hopes that with the removal of the law, more of Maine’s small businesses will be able to compete with corporate giants, promoting Social Equity Cannabis Licensing.