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How Portland's proposed marijuana fee compares to similar fees in other places

As part of a draft of rules, city staff are recommending an annual fee of $10,000 for marijuana retail stores.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland city leaders are laying out a draft of rules for retail marijuana businesses. Those proposals from city staff were discussed at a meeting with councilors Tuesday night.

The rules would cap the number of recreational shops at 20, ban mobile delivery services, and set the annual licensing fee at $10,000.

The fee is double the amount in Auburn and considerably higher than Topsham's fee of $3,000.

In Denver, Colorado the fee for a new retail marijuana store is $4,500. For a medical store that is adding retail marijuana, the fee is $2,250.

In San Francisco, California cannabis business permits cost $5,000 per year. There are some additional fees for inspections and new applications that cost an additional $2,000 to $3,000.

Some members of Maine's cannabis industry say they aren't discouraged by the proposed fee in Portland.

"The $10,000 licensing fee for the adult-use stores is definitely on the higher end for licensing fees that we've seen," said Thomas Mourmouras of Fire on Fore, a medical caregiver storefront in Portland. "We've seen that as the cost of doing business on the legal side."

City leaders say their suggestion of $10,000 will cover internal resources for applications, inspections, and responses to complaints.

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At the meeting Tuesday, Portland city staff made their presentation and city councilors were then able to ask questions and get clarity.