Maine House passes bill that would launch recreational marijuana market

April 15th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

The latest bid to launch Maine’s adult-use marijuana market cleared its toughest political hurdle Tuesday with a veto-proof margin that bodes well for the compromise bill.

If the bill continues on its current path, Mainers can expect to see the first recreational business licenses issued in the spring of 2019. It allows recreational retailers to buy marijuana from former medical growers, a provision that will help them stock their shelves and potentially get Maine’s recreational market up and running very quickly.

But Mainers wouldn’t be able to buy marijuana and consume it in a social club, because that option was stripped out of the bill to make it more politically palatable. They also would have to reduce the size of their home grow from six to three plants, which lawmakers hope will reduce diversion into the black market. Towns will get to decide if they will allow recreational marijuana businesses in their towns, but they won’t get a piece of the tax spoils, which all would go to the state.

“We worked hard to compromise and find common ground,” said Rep. Teresa Pierce, D-Falmouth, House chairwoman of the marijuana committee that crafted the bill. “Our town officials, our local businesses, our parents and families and communities that each of us represent are all asking us to put a reasonable, highly structured regulatory system in place. … They recognize the status quo just isn’t what we should be doing.”

Lawmakers have been trying to hammer out an overhaul of the Marijuana Legalization

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