Cannabis firm Acreage, Maine partner might sue over state residency requirements

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The largest medical marijuana company in Maine threatened to sue the state if it doesn’t alter course on proposed residency requirements for recreational cannabis business permits.

According to the Portland Press Herald, MMJ provider Wellness Connection has financial ties to New York-based multistate operator Acreage Holdings, and the recreational rules as currently written would prohibit out-of-state investment or partnerships, effectively cutting the Maine dispensary entirely out of the state’s adult-use market.

“If the provisional rules are not sufficiently changed by the Legislature, my client, or one of our partners, will be forced to sue the state on the grounds that the residency requirements in the (underlying) statutes are unconstitutional,” an attorney for Wellness Connection told a legislative committee.

The same committee will review the proposed rules again before forwarding them to lawmakers for approval, in advance of the Legislature’s summer recess that begins June 19.

The position pitted Wellness Connection against some local caregivers, who are worried that well-capitalized out-of-state interests will seize all the cannabis market share in Maine.

“We want to give Maine residents a chance before the big boys come in,” one caregiver told the committee.

Lawmakers have said they hope the new oft-delayed rec market in the state will launch by the end of the year.