Maine is one step closer to new regulations that allow for the use of Adult Recreational Marijuana.
A particular legislative committee is nearing the completion of a new law that will enable the regulation of adult use of recreational marijuana.
The proposed bill is a ray of hope for many lawmakers that are in support of the Adult use of Recreational Marijuana to become lawful. However this new bill needs to garner enough support overall in order for recreational marijuana to become legal. There is concern amongst some seats that it will sway too heavily in the direction of Governor Paul LePage, who is opposition to legalising recreational marijuana.
There is a particular committee in place for the legalisation of recreational marijuana, they are called the Marijuana Implementation Committee. This very committee has undertaken various votes that will make changes to the current law that was implemented in 2016.
Those in the seats for pro recreational marijuana are concerned that these changes will make significant damage to the progress the 2016 law has made thus far.
The reason for their concern is that a number of producing business will under imminent threat due to these changes, all types of businesses including weed dispensaries in Santa Maria and all across the state, weed delivery services in Santa Maria and Maine as well as a number of production and cultivation facilities.
The introduced adaptations to the law will see that Maine growers will only be allowed at least 50% of flowering marijuana plants. For example, current law states that an adult who is growing marijuana in Maine is allowed to grow a maximum of six flowering marijuana plants. With the new adapted bill, lawmakers could set the limit to flowering marijuana plants at a maximum of three.
In addition to the reduction on amount of flowering plants for personal recreational use, the new bill proposes to eliminate all marijuana social clubs and lounges. However the new adapted bill will promote the towns and cities to make positive headway to allow the business and industry side of marijuana to grow. This means making positive, affirmative changes which allow corporations and industries to flower while the small business owner and grower suffers under the flowering corporation’s retail business.
In a further move obscuring the equality, a movement that allows tax revenue from the cannabis retail industry that would’ve been dived equally amongst cities and towns to grow has been stunted.
This sharing of taxes was supported because it was seen as a way for municipalities to cover costs that could be incurred during the governing of the new regulated marijuana industry. The Marijuana Implementation Committee supported this dividing of tax revenue to support the emerging cannabis businesses in the newly emerging marijuana market. This extended to the weed delivery services, cannabis dispensaries and even online marijuana dispensaries.
This tax dividing was met with opposition from the governor amongst others. The opposers stated that their concern was that it would make something (marijuana) that was still illegal under federal government too readily available.
The tax framework is set to be shuffled as well. There was a suggestion from some Republican members that the tax oversight be brought under the jurisdiction of the very same agency that takes care of state finances and tax collection instead of the current Department of Health and Human Services.
Republican Senator, Roger Katz, said that there was a need to merge fully under the financial department as it was senseless to have it managed under two separate programs. He went on to say that the licensing, regulation and policing should all be under one umbrella. However, the oppositional provision says that the financial minded agency does not have the correct insight or oversight to take into consideration the health expertise. Issues like patient confidentiality, and substance use as a medicine all will not be able to be seen accordingly by the finance agencies.
The committee is planned to cast votes on the new bill and framework on Friday.