Maine Lawmakers Overhaul Recreational Marijuana Regulations

shutterstock 292175624
shutterstock 292175624

The Maine legislative committee overseeing recreational marijuana regulations has decided to make changes in several areas including residency requirements and grower regulations.

Recreational marijuana was legalized by Maine voters last November. Although the regulations approved in Question 1 officially took effect on January 1, rules on cultivation and retail are still being worked on by state authorities.

The committee is under pressure to finalize regulations as the full state legislature is expected to hold a session next month on the recreational marijuana program.

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According to the Press Herald, below are some of the changes made to the recreational marijuana regulations:

• Those who hold both medical marijuana and adult-use licenses will be allowed to commingle grows and production lines in shared space.

• Dispensaries will not be allowed to convert from taxpaying nonprofits to for-profit status, which they said would help them compete and raise money.

• Municipalities were given the authority to expand the 12-plant per-property limit for adults who want to grow pot for personal use to 18 plants.

• Municipalities will be allowed to cut 1,000-foot buffer between recreational marijuana businesses and schools to 500 feet.

• The plan to allow for a one-time transfer of medical plants into adult-use market was rejected despite criticism that would push back legal sales three to six months beyond start of licensing.

The committee is also seeking to levy a 10 percent retail sales tax and a 10 percent excise tax. This is significantly higher than what voters approved in Question 1. The committee will meet again this week to discuss any outstanding issues including taxation.

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