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Report: Maine Marijuana Businesses Sue State For Abandoning Residency Rule

(RTTNews) – A group of local marijuana business in Maine have filed a lawsuit against the state for abandoning a residency requirement for adult-use cannabis businesses, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The Maine Cannabis Coalition, representing the cannabis businesses in the state, reportedly filed the lawsuit last Friday. The coalition alleged that the state’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services is violating the residency requirement included in the Marijuana Legislation Act.

According to the Act, only Maine residents can operate a recreational marijuana business in the state. The rule requires license applicants to live and file taxes in the state for at least four years.

In May, Maine said it will abandon the residency requirement and reached an agreement with cannabis operator Wellness Connection, which had earlier filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the residency requirement.

Wellness Connection, which holds four of the eight medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Maine, is affiliated with New York-based marijuana operator Acreage Holdings.

According to the Portland Press Herald report, the lawsuit argues that Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy or OMP has no legal authority to abandon the state law without a court decision or state legislative action. The suit is reportedly seeking an injunction to prohibit the state from issuing adult-use cannabis licenses to out-of-state applicants.

The planned official launch of Maine’s recreational marijuana market in spring was postponed by state regulators in April due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The OMP said it has decided to postpone the “spring debut” of the adult-use marijuana retail sales in Maine until further notice.

Maine voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, but sales have been delayed. The state already has legal medical marijuana.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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