Groups on opposite sides of cannabis issue craft plan to save …

January 10th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA — After slugging it out for years, advocates on both sides of the cannabis issue have come together to craft a rescue plan for Maine’s adult-use legalization bill.

The group that wrote the successful marijuana referendum question, Legalize Maine, has joined with Maine’s top anti-legalization groups, the Christian Civic League and the state arm of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, to draft a proposal that would, among other things, give medical marijuana providers a first crack at adult-use cultivation and sales under a rolling licensing system, followed by Maine residents, in a market that would launch in July.

Co-chair Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, speaks at the beginning of Tuesday's hearing by the Marijuana Law Implementation Committee. Katz introduced a bill to extend Maine's moratorium on retail marijuana until May 1.

The proposal was introduced by Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, who voted against a legalization bill passed by the legislature last year that died by gubernatorial veto in November. He unveiled the unlikely coalition, and the wide-ranging amendment, at a legislative hearing on the latest version of the legalization bill on Tuesday, saying the compromises hammered out by these one-time rivals could secure the votes needed to pass the bill this session.

“Our goal has been to bridge the gap between diverse interests to find a safe, appropriate way to regulate and implement adult use cannabis in Maine,” Saviello testified. “(Stakeholders) have gone to great lengths to accept a diverse compromise that is not directly in line with their

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