Committee Makes Headway on Recreational Marijuana Legislation
A special legislative committee is closer to creating a new bill to regulate recreational marijuana for adults. Lawmakers on the panel hope the proposal will garner enough support to become law, but there’s already grumbling that it concedes too much to Gov. Paul LePage, an opponent of legalization.
The marijuana implementation committee has taken a series of straw votes that significantly overhaul the law approved by voters in 2016. The changes include cutting in half the number of flowering plants a Maine adult can cultivate for personal use from six plants to three. It also eliminates cannabis social clubs and it requires cities and towns to take affirmative action to allow cultivation, wholesaling and retail operations. The committee also reversed course on a provision that would have shared tax revenue from cannabis sales with cities and towns.
Last year the committee supported municipal revenue sharing as a way of defraying costs that municipalities may incur in policing or regulating cannabis businesses and to help create a viable regulated market.