Maine Eliminates Residency Requirement for Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses
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Maine Eliminates Residency Requirement for Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses

The state reached an agreement with a cannabis operator that repeals a rule requiring applicants to live in Maine for a minimum of four years.

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May 14, 2020

Maine has eliminated a residency requirement for adult-use cannabis businesses that stipulated license applicants had to live in the state for a minimum of four years, according to a Portland Press Herald report.

The state reached an agreement with cannabis operator Wellness Connection of Maine May 11 that repeals the rule, after Wellness Connection filed a lawsuit in March to challenge the constitutionality of the residency requirement, the news outlet reported.

Wellness Connection, which is controlled by an out-of-state investor owned by multistate cannabis operator Acreage Holdings, argued that a residency requirement violated the company’s right to interstate commerce by favoring Maine residents over out-of-state business operators, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The residency requirement, which required every officer, director and manager of an adult-use cannabis business, as well as a majority of its ownership, to live and file taxes in Maine for at least four years, was set to expire in June 2021, the news outlet reported.

Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) must now introduce legislation to remove the residency requirement from state law, but OMP Director Erik Gunderson told the Portland Press Herald that this will have no impact on the state’s rollout of its adult-use cannabis market, which was supposed to launch next month but has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and local authorizations on testing labs and other adult-use cannabis businesses.