Learn about recent changes to cannabis ordinances and upcoming ballot initiatives in multiple municipalities.

In this edition we have updates on the new cannabis ordinances in Portland, Maine and Tracy, California, as well as news on upcoming ballot measures in Anaheim, CA and Jurupa Valley, CA.

Read on to see the important regulation updates our research team has discovered.


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May 21st, 2020 – Commercial Cannabis Legalized in Portland, Maine and New Ordinances, COVID-19 updates, and Ballot Proposals in Californian Cities

Portland, Maine

Portland, the largest city in the state of Maine passed an ordinance on 5/18/2020 to allow and regulate commercial cannabis uses in the city.

The city will allow the following license types:

  • Cultivation – Tier 1 license shall allow the license holder to cultivate up to 500 sq. ft. of marijuana plant canopy
  • Cultivation – Tier 2 license shall allow the license holder to cultivate up to 2,000 sq. ft. of marijuana plant canopy
  • Cultivation – Tier 3 license shall allow the license holder to cultivate more than 2,000 sq. ft. of marijuana plant canopy
  • Dispensary
  • Manufacturing – Manual. A manual manufacturing license shall allow the license holder to manufacture marijuana using manual processing only.
  • Manufacturing – High Hazard. A high hazard manufacturing license shall allow the license holder to manufacture marijuana using chemicals and solvents in addition to manual processing methods.
  • Retail – Medical.
  • Retail – Adult Use
  • Small Scale Caregiver. A small scale caregiver license shall allow a registered caregiver to engage in the business of a small scale caregiver, including cultivation, manual processing, and limited sales to patients, as defined.
  • Testing

The number of retail stores and dispensaries in the City combined shall be capped at 20 and the city will use a point system to evaluate applicants priority given to the following groups:

  • socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s),
  • business owners, medical cannabis caregivers,
  • those with $150,000 in the bank,
  • and companies who pay a living wage and provide employee benefits or donate 1 percent of profits to the city for substance abuse prevention.

For full details on the new regulations and detailed application information follow this link: https://portlandme.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ad=5336


Tracy, California

City council of Tracy is finalizing guidelines for the application process for commercial cannabis licenses, and expect they will have the application period open from July 6, 2020 to August 5, 2020

License types will include cultivation (indoor only), distribution, manufacturing, microbusiness, retailer – non-storefront (delivery only), retailer – storefront (dispensary), and testing laboratory.

The city is also considering a November ballot proposal to set a business tax which shall cumulatively not exceed 15% of gross receipts on commercial cannabis activities.

Application Process
  • Application submittal to the City
  •  Phase 1 Eligibility Review: City review of the applications for completeness and evaluation against the selection criteria. During Phase 1, all applications scoring a minimum of 80% will be deemed eligible to proceed to Phase 2. During Phase 1, the City will also evaluate each application against any automatic disqualifying criteria.
  • Phase 2 Final Scoring and Permit Award: Applicants for all types receiving a minimum score of 80% will be permitted to advance to Phase 2 during which applicants must submit to the City the extent of the proposed Community Benefit for final scoring of the applications.  The permits may be awarded to the four (4) applicants of each business type identified as receiving the highest cumulative score from Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Full details on the application process and municipal regulations for cannabis businesses can be found in the attached links below.


Monterey County, California

In response to the economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monterey County board of supervisors adopted an ordinance on 5/19/20 to suspend the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 automatic increases on the County’s commercial cannabis business tax rates, and resume the automatic increases in Fiscal Year 2021-2022 on July 1, 2022.

Find full details on the future tax increases in the ordinance attached below.


El Monte, California

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the city of El Monte has extended their deadline for submitting commercial cannabis business applications to June 15th.

On December 3, 2019, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2960. Effective January 2, 2020, the Ordinance authorized medicinal and adult use cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, and allows a maximum of six (6) retail licenses in the City.

Application Link

Application Information


Jurupa Valley, California

Jurupa Valley city council will discuss a November ballot proposal that would increase the commercial cannabis tax and adopt new regulatory requirements for cannabis businesses during their May 21st meeting.

Proposed Regulatory Changes:

  • A cap of 7 retail dispensaries in the city
  • New application process requirements and evaluation criteria (see attached documents for full details)
  • Only one retailer may be located within each Retail Cannabis Area, except for legal non-conforming uses.
  • A setback requirement of a 600 foot radius of a school providing instruction in kindergarten or any grades 1 through 12, day care center, youth center, church or religious facility, or park that is in existence at the time the fully completed application for the permit is submitted to the City.
New Tax Rate:
  • cultivation: $10 per square foot of canopy space in a facility that uses exclusively artificial lighting.
  • testing laboratory: one percent (1 %) of gross receipts.
  • retailer: Four percent ( 4%) of gross receipts .
  • distribution business: two percent (2%) of gross receipts.
  • manufacturing , processing , or microbusiness (non-retail), or any other type of cannabis business : Two and half percent (2.5%) of gross receipts.

Proposed Ballot Measure (begins page 708)


Anaheim, California

At the June 9, 2020 regular meeting, the City Council is set to consider approval of the first and second steps in a three-step process toward legalizing, taxing and regulating commercial cannabis distribution, manufacturing, cultivation, retail sales, deliveries and testing laboratories.  This Ordinance shall only take effect and become operative if the electors of the City of Anaheim approve a City Council-sponsored tax measure for Commercial Cannabis Activities at the November 3, 2020 general municipal election.

The three steps required are:

  • Approval of a city ordinance allowing commercial cannabis in Anaheim, including detailed regulations.
  • A ballot initiative to implement a tax on cannabis businesses approved by voters in the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
  • Development of an application process and selection criteria for businesses that wish to open and operate in Anaheim.

The June 9 consideration of these two items, a ballot initiative and a proposed ordinance, followed a City Council vote to postpone the item that was considered on May 12, 2020.

Under the proposed ordinance cannabis businesses could operate only in industrial zones, and no cannabis businesses could be located within 600 feet of schools, day care centers, youth centers, public libraries or public parks.


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