US (ME): Cannabis company sues state over residency requirement

Wellness Connection filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday against the Maine department that oversees cannabis policy, claiming that residency restrictions on owners of recreational cannabis businesses violate the U.S. Constitution.

The Auburn-based company said the residency requirement is delaying its entry into the adult-use market because it needs more capital investment, which it said is more available outside of Maine. It also said the requirement may stymie job and economic growth for recreational cannabis businesses and for the entire Maine economy.

“We as an industry can’t work within the confines of the residency requirement,” said Matthew Warner, an attorney at Preti Flaherty who is representing Wellness Connection, which is 49 percent owned by a Delaware investor. “We still don’t have the money we need to execute our business plan.”

He said that because cannabis is illegal on a federal level, banks cannot provide loans. And Maine doesn’t have large investors, so the company has had to search for money out of state.


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