Maine Releases Draft Of Proposed Recreational Marijuana Regulations

The officials of Maine are allowing the public to express their ideas of what should be included in legislation that regulates the adult use of cannabis in the state. In 2016, Maine voters approved the legal adult use of recreational marijuana. It is what the people voted for and they “won”.

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However, the state has been challenged in the area of getting the industry up and running smoothly. In 2017, the state legislature placed a moratorium on some parts of the new law. This was to give the state time to develop a system of laws pertaining to all elements of cannabis production, transportation, consumption, etc.

State lawmakers have fought back and forth for some time now about the adult use laws in Maine. Meanwhile, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy has been designing the regulatory structure of the cannabis retail marketplace.

Political and public pressure has forced the need for legislation governing the adult cannabis industry, and now, regulators have unveiled their newest plan to appease the public and the government simultaneously.

The draft has been released to the public and feedback is requested. This allows members of Maine communities to make their voices known and demand any changes they deem necessary before the draft becomes valid legislation. State residents can do so online or at an upcoming public hearing.

Some of the details of the drafted Industry Rulebook are:

  • Tiered annual licensing fees ($100 – $30,000) for cultivators, based on canopy space
  • Annual manufacturing facility licenses cost $2,500
  • Annual testing facility licenses cost $1000
  • Annual retailer licenses cost $2,500

If approved, these and other clauses in the bulletin will have a large impact on those wishing to enter this lucrative industry. Cannabis lenders who supply funding for startup cannabis businesses, start up capital for marijuana dispensaries, and other weed loans are busier than ever before trying to meet demands for their services.

The draft of the Industry Rulebook of Maine also states that workers in the cannabis industry will have to pay a $50 annual fee to the state government. This rule applies to all workers rather they physically touch the marijuana or not. Every employee would also have to pay for the costs of a background check and fingerprinting.

Retail sales of marijuana cannot begin in Maine until the legislation that governs it is solidified. Right now, there is still time for residents of Maine who are against the proposed rules to express themselves and be heard. However, it’s likely to not make a difference at this point unless massive public action is taken.

When the new laws are passed (likely in June 2019), there is likely to be a lot of complaining from the public. However, then, it will be too late.

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High Times – Maine Unveils Draft of Recreational Marijuana Regulatory Structure
State of Maine – Adult-use Recreational Marijuana