Business and Economy

Business news

For the first time in Maine, some patients will be able to pay for their marijuana prescriptions without visiting the ATM.

A new mobile app called CanPay is available at the state’s largest dispensary, Wellness Connection of Maine. CEO Patricia Rosi says it’s a milestone for the industry, which has struggled for legitimacy due to ongoing federal restrictions.

The president of the world’s largest seaweed processing company said Friday that his firm will appeal Thursday’s Washington County Superior Court order that bars the harvest of rockweed, a form of seaweed, without the consent of shorefront property owners.

J.P. Deveau, president of the Nova Scotia-based Acadian Seaplants Ltd., says his company will continue harvesting operations in Maine pending the outcome of the appeal.

FREEPORT, Maine - Clothing and outdoors gear retailer L.L. Bean says its annual net sales in fiscal 2016 were about level with the previous year at $1.6 billion.
 
The company says the L.L. Bean family and board of directors approved a 3 percent cash performance bonus to its approximately 6,000 workers.
 
 A company spokeswoman says L.L. Bean's performance was about in line with the retail industry at large. 
 

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine officials say revenue from the state's tourism industry has increased for the fourth straight year in 2016.
 
A report from the Maine Office of Tourism shows that revenue grew to just under $6 billion last year, an increase of about 6 percent from the previous year. Officials said Wednesday the total economic impact of tourism reached $9 billion.
 

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor City Council chairman says the city would have a better chance to gain tax revenue from legal marijuana if it got into the business of selling it.

Joe Baldacci’s comments come as cities and towns around Maine are gearing up for the state to approve regulations governing marijuana sales. Voters approved recreational marijuana in November, and the rulemaking process is underway.

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

PORTLAND, Maine - Unemployment went down in Maine in January.  From 3.8 percent in December, to 3.5 percent in the first month of the new year.

State Labor Department official Glenn Mills says several areas led a gain in job creation.

"Over the year, the strongest job gains were in the health care, hospitality and construction sectors," Mill says. "Manufacturing was relatively flat, which was a good performance given the large loss of paper mill jobs that occurred during the year."

Courtesy Maine.gov

PORTLAND, Maine - The annual Governor's Conference on Tourism opens Tuesday in Augusta. Steve Lyons, the state's acting director of tourism and film, says tourism is a part of the Maine economy that continues to grow, and change.

'Pioneering' Group Seeks to Rebuild Maine's Local Food Systems

Mar 7, 2017
Micky Bedell / Bangor Daily News

BELMONT, Maine ― When Mike and Christa Bahner, of Bahner Farm in Belmont, had a hoop house collapse under the weight of snow a couple of winters ago, the couple didn’t have time to go through the red tape process of getting a traditional bank loan to fund the replacement.

The company that delivers crude oil from Maine to Canada, Portland Pipe Line Corp., is seeking tax abatement from the city of South Portland, claiming the city’s Clear Skies Ordinance has reduced the value of the pipeline.

Portland Pipe Line has properties in South Portland valued at nearly $44 million. But in its application for tax abatement, the company says they’re currently overvalued by about $18 million. So how does that translate into actual tax dollars the pipeline could save if its application is approved?

While many Maine communities have passed or are weighing moratoriums or bans on retail recreational marijuana businesses, the town of Houlton is enthusiastically encouraging recreational growers and retailers to make the move to Aroostook County.

Last month, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to designate a portion of its industrial park for use by retail recreational marijuana retailers. Council member Sue Waite-York says the town views Maine’s historic vote to legalize recreational pot as an opportunity.

Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says research is crucial to the future of the lobster fishery, and he says lobstermen are relieved Gov. Paul LePage now wants to fund that research with state surplus funds instead of fee increases.

“The money we have asked for will allow us to do some really critical research on lobster,” Keliher says. “We’re riding high right now — we set another new landing record of almost 131 million pounds, but we all know there is a decline coming.”

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - An oil pipeline company wants the $44.7 million assessed value of its real estate and personal property in South Portland to be reduced 42 percent.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Portland Pipe Line Corp. requested discounts on holdings stretching more than 200 acres, including its oil tanker pier on Casco Bay.

The tax abatement application says the city's Clear Skies law significantly reduced the value of the company's pipeline.

Maine Port Authority

President Donald Trump told Congress this week that he wants to see a trillion dollars spent on the nation’s infrastructure through an unspecified public-private partnership.

Now states, including Maine, are putting down markers for where they see the biggest needs. Maine’s to-do list includes a plan for new barge service between here and New York.

Yellen Signals the Fed Will Likely Raise Rates This Month

Mar 3, 2017

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is signaling that the Fed will likely resume raising interest rates later this month to reflect a strengthening job market and inflation edging toward the central bank's 2 percent target rate.
 
Yellen also says in a speech in Chicago that the Fed expects steady economic improvement to justify additional rate increases. While not specifying how many rate hikes could occur this year, Yellen notes that Fed officials in December had estimated that there would be three this year.
 

Pages