Portland, Maine receives 38 applications for 20 available cannabis dispensary licenses

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Wednesday September 2nd at 10:00 AM to update the number of license applicants.

Portland, Maine, has received 38 applications for 20 available cannabis dispensing licenses. After a recent court ruling ruled the city’s rating matrix unconstitutional, it is unclear how officials will ultimately decide who will receive the licenses, according to a report by the Portland Press Herald.

Applicants had a deadline of August 31 to submit applications for the operation of pharmacies for medical purposes and for adults in the city. According to the Portland Press Herald, four applicants are applying for retail medical cannabis licenses, while the rest will operate in the adult market, which is expected to launch on October 9th.

Portland city council spent a year developing its cannabis zoning and licensing regulations, which included a rating matrix to determine who would get a retail license if the city received more than 20 applications, the news agency said .

Though the city passed its local cannabis ordinance in May, its residence bonus for license applicants who lived in Maine for four years or more has been challenged in court by Wellness Connection of Maine, a non-local cannabis operator, and a federal judge ruled last month that Portland local businesses in cannot prioritize its licensing process.

The city is still trying to decide how to respond to the court ruling, the Portland Press Herald reported. Meanwhile, residents will vote on a cannabis referendum in November that could lift the cap on pharmacy licensing, eliminating the need to limit uses.

Portland continues to plan to license cannabis cultivation and extraction facilities as it sets the next step in the retail licensing process, according to the news agency.

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