An obstructionist governor has drastically slowed the already sophisticated course of of making a regulatory construction from scratch.
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Amid headlines about marijuana legalization getting authorized by voters this fall within the Midwest and unlikely locations like Utah, a query stays: No matter occurred to marijuana in Maine?
If effectivity and effectiveness are the usual for grading how governments implement the desire of the individuals, Maine would get an “F.” Two years after state voters authorized the sale of adult-use hashish within the state, you continue to can’t purchase it anyplace in Maine. In contrast, voters in Nevada and California authorized authorized leisure marijuana the identical day as voters in Maine however have been capable of purchase marijuana for a very long time. Each companies and the governments are having fun with the hashish earnings.
What’s extra, there stays confusion about the place issues stand In Maine. “There’s quite a bit unknown and that is the issue proper now,” a medical marijuana dispensary proprietor instructed CBS 13 in Portland. “No person actually is aware of something.”
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A quick historical past of marijuana in Maine.
Maine has a historical past of being on the forefront of the marijuana motion — till currently. Again in 1976 it turned simply the third state to decriminalize marijuana possession. It has been greater than 40 years and nonetheless simply 22 states and the District of Columbia have performed that, in accordance with the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures.
In 1999, Maine voters legalized medical marijuana. They have been solely the fifth state to take action.
Then got here 2016. A poll proposition approving the sale of adult-use marijuana handed, however so narrowly that opponents requested a recount. Nonetheless, after the recount began and it turned obvious the outcome wouldn’t change, they withdrew their recount petition. The pathway was clear for the state to arrange a regulated marijuana gross sales system.
Enter Governoer Paul LePage
The state legislature had 9 months to hammer out a system governing marijuana gross sales. They completed that purpose, however then bumped into Gov. Paul LePage. He vetoed the measure in November 2017. The Republican governor he cited steering from then-Legal professional Common Jeff Periods as a part of the explanation for his veto, disregarding — or, at the least, not mentioning — the truth that different states had moved forward with marijuana gross sales. LePage wrote in his veto message that “till I clearly perceive how the federal authorities intends to deal with states that search to legalize marijuana, I can not in good conscience help any scheme in state legislation to implement growth of authorized marijuana in Maine.”
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In 2018, the state Legislature crafted a bipartisan compromise invoice that will enable authorized hashish gross sales — which, in any case, is the desire of the individuals. The brand new measure is extra conservative than the primary one. For instance, it prohibits hashish social golf equipment. It additionally put in particular measures that gave extra energy for controlling hashish gross sales within the palms of native governments.
LePage vetoed it once more.
This time, the Legislature overrode his veto, shifting ahead with plans to create the system. They finalized these plans in June, handing accountability for writing the foundations for a regulated marijuana system to the Maine Division of Administrative and Monetary Providers.
Because it turned out, the Maine Division of Administrative and Monetary Providers didn’t know the right way to craft guidelines to create a authorized, regulated adult-use marijuana market. As a substitute, they solicited bids from consultants. 5 utilized however the course of simply closed in November 2018.
And that’s the place issues stand. Feedback in media stories range, however the consensus appears to be that a marketing consultant ought to be employed by January, after which it would take one other 9 months to get the rules written. That may put the beginning of gross sales, realistically, within the fall of 2019.
Tammie Snow, an lawyer who represents these within the marijuana business, instructed CBS 13, “Loads of my purchasers are annoyed. Clearly, they’re annoyed as a result of it has been two years.”
Now, it appears to be like like will probably be three.
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