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Portland to Remove Cap on the Number of Marijuana Retailers Permitted

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The Portland City Council has voted to remove the 20-store cap on marijuana retailers. This comes after a federal judge deemed their point matrix unconstitutional.

The point matrix would have been used to determine which applicants were approved for retail marijuana licenses, News Center Maine says. One of the issues with the point matrix was that it seemed to give Maine residents an advantage. It would have given 5 points to applicants just for showing a 51% majority ownership profile for residing in Maine for at least 5 years.

Mayor Kate Snyder said, “There were trouble zones associated with giving people preference for certain things.”

What will happen now is that eligible applicants will be passed onward from the local level to the state level of licensing. The City of Portland says that it currently has 36 applications to review.

Snyder said, “The cap is the thing that triggered the matrix. Because once you say we’re going to limit licenses, you have to have a method for calling through. Rather than limit the number of licenses to 20 and figure out a way to sort through any applications over 20, we simply got rid of the cap.”

Portland voters will have a referendum question on their ballots next week regarding the retail marijuana ordinance. Question F on the ballot to address the distance between retail marijuana stores and dispensaries, asking if it should be 250-feet or 100-feet.