It is difficult to understand how it is possible that if recreational marijuana was legal in the state of Maine since 2016, it is still not possible to buy by mid-2019. There is a clear culprit in this legal break and it is the former governor of the state, Paul LePage, who did everything possible to delay and even get rid of this law.
The office of current Gov. Janet Mills ensures that the new Maine Marijuana Policy Office is doing everything possible to enforce the will of the voters. The governor states that applications for licenses to sell cannabis will begin before the end of December 2019.
As we have said, recreational marijuana was legal since 2016. But the former governor had refused to establish the legal bases needed to license commercial cannabis sales.
Janet Mills has assured the media that her office is working very hard to get the law passed in 2016 to begin to be applied as quickly as possible.
Municipalities may choose between legalizing or not legalizing cannabis sales. Because the reality is that there have been few cities and towns in Maine that have created the legal framework necessary to obtain a license to retail marijuana.
Governor Janet Mills insists that during the past few months her administration has worked very diligently to update the law of adult recreational marijuana because it is something she owes to voters for two and a half years.
It seems that all the obstacles created by the previous governor have been solved thanks to the joint work of the new state government, the legislators and the different stakeholders within the cannabis sector.
“With this law, we are a little closer to fulfilling the will of Maine voters,” said Governor Mills.
The Maine Marijuana Policy Office has developed the new state regulation for the consumption of recreational marijuana for adults in collaboration with seven different state agencies, two cannabis consultancies, and important people from the cannabis industry.
The new law establishes that to obtain a license to sell recreational cannabis in the state of Maine you must have lived in the state for at least four years. On the other hand it is also necessary to own at least 51% of a cannabis company. The Office of Marijuana Policy has the power to retain the license to any licensee if it considers it appropriate for different reasons.
The requirement of having lived in the state for at least four years is a big problem for some important medical marijuana companies that want to expand into the recreational marijuana market.
One of these companies has said that it and one of its investors from outside the state are considering suing the state if the provisionally adopted rules are not modified.
The director of this company said that the residence requirement for investors could “threaten our very existence”.
The bill will go into effect next September, and the Marijuana Policy Office will have 60 days to complete the rules. After this 60-day period, the state will have 30 more days to decide which license applications are granted or not.
The state government will develop a public health and safety campaign in addition to creating a formula for the licensing of cannabis sales in the industry.
Erik Gundersen, director of the Office of Marijuana Policy, has stated that the Office has set very ambitious deadlines since February and that they feel very proud of having complied with them. He states that they have drafted these standards in order to maintain the health and safety of citizens and that the standards are cutting-edge.
Erik Gundersen says they are working seven days a week to get adult recreational marijuana sold by the end of 2019.