PORTLAND, Maine — Officials in Portland are meeting Tuesday to discuss proposed regulations for retail marijuana licensing as business owners hope to cash in on legalized pot in Maine.
"I think there will always be a lot more to be desired, but it's moving," Tessa Storey, manager at Higher Grounds, said. "It's progressing and it's a lot less of holding our breaths and a lot more of knowing what is to come soon."
Higher Grounds is one of several small businesses in the city looking to expand to include recreational marijuana products.
City leaders are looking to limit permits to 20 shops and plan to use a 'weighted lottery system' to distribute those permits after push-back over a proposed first-come-first-served system.
The current proposal also has simulations on security and prohibits delivery.
Recreational sellers would be required to pay a $10,000 annual fee. Medicinal facilities would have to pay $250.
The progress comes as a recent study just ranked Maine third in the country for marijuana use among teens and young adults.
A small portion of the fees, according to the proposed regulations, will go to 'youth education,'
Storey said that has been a topic of conversation among prospective retailers, but she said many understand the importance of keeping their products away from kids.
"We wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize what we've been doing and all the work that we put into it," Storey said. "I would treat that as if I was serving alcohol. You wouldn't have a child walk into a bar and risk everything just to make that extra sale."
Tuesday's meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. It is open to the public.
At the state level, The Office of Marijuana Policy will start accepting applications for state licenses on Dec. 5.