Recreational marijuana sales haven’t begun in Maine yet but Portland city officials are ready. Zoning rules are in place regarding where marijuana businesses can be located. The Portland Planning Board approved, by a unanimous vote, a zoning map for both medical and recreational marijuana businesses.
Cultivation and testing facilities will be permitted in industrial zones, according to Bangor Daily News. Retail marijuana stores will be allowed to open in commercial zones. Commercial zones in the downtown Portland area are included.
Law expert Tammie Snow said, “One standard for everybody, it’s streamlined, I think it will make it a lot easier. Pretty much you go from the Old Port, then out along Forest Avenue, which makes a lot of sense.”
The benefit for the retail locations is that they are located in high traffic areas.
Mayor Ethan Strimling said, “It seems to make sense to me that there should be allowed retail stores in downtown, that’s where a lot of people are, but just as with anything else, we’ve got to make sure we do it right.”
City planners did take overcrowding into consideration.
Planner Christine Grimando said, “We have tools to sort of mitigate impacts when they come up and as new uses come online, and hopefully they will be sufficient.”
Amanda Melnick of Maine Cannabis Consultants said, “Just to be fair, that cannabis businesses are treated the same way that other businesses are treated and I think that they have done a really great job with that.”
The planners are confident that the maps and regulations determined will stick. Changes could still occur as final approvals are required.