Maine Lawmakers Leave Key Cannabis Questions Unanswered

Fishing pier in Kittery, Maine along the Piscataqua River with Portsmouth in the background

Maine lawmakers adjourned Aug. 2, leaving important questions about the state’s new adult-use cannabis program unresolved. Whether the work continues later this year during a special session or ends up waiting until the legislative session begins in January, there are many key decisions to be made.

Some of the main things still left on the table, the Bangor Daily News reports, involve making rules for the state’s adult-use retail market, implementing laboratory testing procedures, hammering out tax rates, and establishing regulations for both commercial and home cultivation.

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In short, state lawmakers have yet to address numerous issues that are fundamental to the smooth operation of a legal cannabis market.

A special committee working on cannabis implementation has been meeting for months—one of the few committees still working after the Legislature was adjourned. Lawmakers have already pushed back implementation of the sales and regulatory system, delaying it until three months after the original date of February 2018.

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The committee has made some progress, having reached a preliminary decision capping the number of mature plants that individuals can legally possess. No decisions have be made final.

Currently, there are still 31 cannabis-related bills awaiting consideration, according to the Bangor Daily News, many of which could end up in a single omnibus proposal. All told, lawmakers carried more than 340 bills into January.

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