Maine Officials Launch New Program to Reimburse Municipalities That Host Cannabis Businesses
The Office of Cannabis Policy is offering cities and towns up to $20,000 to cover the costs associated with opting in to the state’s adult-use cannabis program.
Maine officials announced Monday the launch of a new program to reimburse municipalities that host cannabis businesses.
The Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP), a division of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), is offering cities and towns up to $20,000 to cover the costs associated with opting in to the state’s adult-use cannabis program.
The OCP launched an online portal Aug. 8 to accept submissions from municipalities seeking reimbursement.
The move stems from a law passed during Maine’s 2022 legislative session that mandates that cities and towns that have opted in to the adult-use cannabis market will be eligible for the reimbursement of qualifying expenses.
Qualifying expenses must have occurred within the past three years, according to the press release, and must be directly associated with a municipality’s process of opting in to Maine’s adult-use cannabis market. These expenses may include attorneys’ fees, costs associated with drafting cannabis ordinances and fees related to providing notice of public meetings.
The funds for reimbursement will come from the Adult-Use Cannabis Public Health and Safety and Municipal Opt-In Fund, which houses the excise and sales tax revenues generated by adult-use cannabis sales.
“Maine’s launch of the Adult Use Cannabis Program has been strong,” OCP Director Erik Gundersen said in a public statement. “But the benefits are still only being realized by about 7% of Maine’s cities and towns. From a recent report commissioned by the OCP, we know that the presence of adult use retail stores and other facilities is the most responsible way to continue to eradicate the illicit market, while driving down negative public health and safety impacts.”
The form for reimbursement requests and additional information on the program can be found here.
By: Melissa Schiller | Cannabis Business Times