Legislature approves reimbursing towns that allow for retail cannabis profits

Lawmakers this 7 days accredited a invoice that they hope will inspire more cities and cities to make it possible for retail marijuana profits and help them recoup the expenditures of overseeing the adult-use plan.

L.D. 1195, which was passed by the Maine House on Thursday and the Senate on Friday, calls for the state to reimburse municipalities up to $20,000 for costs related with opting in to the state’s grownup-use cannabis industry.

Only about 10 % of Maine municipalities allow grownup-use revenue.

In accordance to Sen. Benjamin Chipman, D-Cumberland, several communities are not participating because of the price of rule improvement, issuing licenses, inspection, enforcement and much more.

The products are topic to a 10 percent excise tax, all of which goes into the state’s General Fund and none directly back to the municipalities where the solutions are offered. 

Due to the fact of that, Chipman advised the Senate on Friday, the point out nonetheless has a practical black market place. Permitting a reimbursement of up to $20,000 really should help persuade towns and metropolitan areas that have held off due to the fact of the charge, he stated.


In accordance to the Maine Municipal Association, Maine is the only state that has legalized grownup-use cannabis without having making it possible for municipal governments to get better any charges from their regulation of the business.

The initial bill, proposed by Sen. Tiffany Roberts, D-South Berwick, would have supplied 5 p.c of gross sales and excise tax income to the municipalities.

“In the improvement of Maine’s adult-use cannabis market, the condition has asked municipalities to support stability the freshly sanctioned use of this commodity, having said that, municipalities are not but observing a return on their financial commitment,” Roberts advised the committee on taxation when introducing the bill. 

Kate Dufour, legislative advocate for the municipal affiliation, explained that even though the group would have favored to have earnings-sharing approved, she’s happy to see the invoice accept that the state must take a part in aiding cities as they employ the state program.

“It’s primarily placing your money exactly where your mouth is,” she explained.


The point out has 85 leisure retail suppliers unfold throughout about 50 municipalities. A further 180 outlets are in many stages of the approval course of action, in accordance to condition data. 

In 2021, the adult-use current market introduced in just shy of $82 million, earning in excess of $8 million in tax profits for the state. 

John Burke, a Scarborough attorney specializing in hashish licensing, explained to the committee that the cost of opting in has brought on quite a few towns and metropolitan areas to institute sizeable licensing service fees to offset prices.

Portland, for instance, has a $10,000 licensing payment, he mentioned. In Lebanon, it’s $50,000.

“Not acquiring profits sharing is stopping the state from receiving the variety of revenue it expected from the adult use method, hurting the enterprises lawfully functioning in the adult use application and frustrating municipalities that were supposed to be companions with the State in administering (it),” he wrote. “Those municipalities not opting in carry on to attain a money profit (right or indirectly) from these organizations, as much of the income created by the Adult Use software goes into the General Fund.”


Despite the rollout of the state’s grownup-use market in October 2020, Portland officials did not approve merchants right up until March 2021. The implementation of enterprise licensing and regulation has been time-consuming and pricey for the town, stated Jessica Hanscome, director of the city’s division of allowing and inspections, in created testimony to the committee.

She stated the section had to hire 3 new workers users to aid regulate the workload introduced on by the city’s rollout of the market.

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