As we have previously reported, the city of Portland, Maine, has been the most prominent recent test case over municipalities seeking to favor their own residents in marijuana licensing.
On August 14, 2020, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction in favor of out-of-state businesses claiming that the City’s licensing system unconstitutionally favored residents over non-residents by basing licensing decisions in part on whether an applicant is a Maine resident. August 14, 2020 Order, Wellness Connection v. City of Portland, Docket No. 2:20-CV-00208-NT (W.D. Maine). In granting the injunction, the court held that the City failed to justify that its residency preference was necessary to achieve a legitimate purpose, which the City argued “was to ensure that the City understood the amount and quality of oversight and could easily verify any past violations.” Id. at 24.