Portland passes moratorium to delay opening of marijuana businesses
The city joins more than a half-dozen other Maine communities that are giving themselves time to adopt ordinances regulating marijuana locally.
The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a six-month moratorium that will give the city time to develop regulations governing retail marijuana establishments.
The moratorium, which takes effect immediately, will delay the opening of any stores, cultivation facilities, testing facilities or social clubs that sell marijuana for consumption.
City councilors took less than five minutes to vote on the measure. There was no public comment and no discussion among councilors.
The city staff says the moratorium will give Portland more time to understand the impact of the marijuana legalization initiative that Maine voters passed on Nov. 8.
If the voting results are confirmed in a recount, Question 1 will legalize recreational use of marijuana and allow municipalities to regulate marijuana businesses. It would allow adults 21 and older to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana, grow their own plants, and buy marijuana from licensed retail stores. It also calls for a 10 percent sales tax on marijuana.
Portland plans to draft licensing rules and ordinances to limit where in the city such businesses can operate.