The Portland City Council will hold a formal public hearing June 21 on a proposal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries for up to six months.

City councilors took up the proposal Monday night and voted to hold the hearing rather than move it forward as an emergency matter.

The proposal calls for prohibiting dispensaries for as long as six months while the city sets up new rules and zoning language to regulate such an operation. Biddeford, South Portland and several other Maine cities and towns have already passed similar moratoriums.

No dispensaries have yet been proposed for Portland or any other Maine community. The state is accepting applications from prospective operators until June 25 and then will select eight to open the state’s first licensed dispensaries, one in each region of the state. Cumberland and York counties will each get one dispensary, and some potential operators are hoping to set up shop in Portland.

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