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WIRE: Maine lawmakers propose changes to adult-use marijuana law

Augusta, ME — Members of a special legislative committee have called for changes in the state’s voter-initiated adult use marijuana law prior to its full implementation. The full legislature is expected to debate the proposed changes as an emergency bill during a special session this October.

Maine voters narrowly approved The Marijuana Legalization Act in November. Provisions in the law permitting adults to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis took effect in late January. However, lawmakers delayed until at least February 1, 2018 the enactment of separate regulations regarding the licensed production, sale, and social use of cannabis.

Committee members tasked with regulating retail aspects of the new law have proposed increasing taxes on commercial cannabis sales and imposing a moratorium on the establishment of adult use cannabis social clubs – facilities that were explicitly permitted in the initiative’s text. Members have also proposed language allowing retail-friendly municipalities to receive a percentage of marijuana tax revenue.

Public hearings regarding the suggested changes are anticipated to begin in September. It is not known whether lawmakers will be able to pass an implementation measure prior to the February 1 deadline.

Lawmakers in several other states – including FloridaMassachusetts, and North Dakota – have similarly moved to significantly amend voter-approved marijuana laws prior to their full implementation.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

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