The Office of Marijuana Policy (“OMP”) announced this week that they will no longer be enforcing the Maine residency requirements for owners and principals of adult use marijuana establishments.
A lawsuit filed earlier this year challenged the state residency requirements on the basis that explicitly and purposefully favoring Maine residents over non-residents for a business license violates the dormant Commerce Cause of the United State Constitution. Pursuant to an agreement between the Office of the Attorney General and the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, OMP is ceasing enforcement of the residency requirement in the Marijuana Legalization Act and implementing regulations.
While OMP will not enforce the residency requirements moving forward, the Legislature will need to vote to amend the Marijuana Legalization Act in order to actually change the law and formally repeal these requirements. The recent announcement only applies to adult use marijuana establishments, but we will send updates if there are any changes to the enforcement of residency requirements in the medical marijuana program.
Keep in mind that some municipalities still have residency requirements as part of their local licensing or, like Portland, will award points based on a percentage of the owners being Maine residents.