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Maine Considers Cannabis Legalization For Adult-Use

Maine Representative Introduces Legal Cannabis Bill

The Maine Legislative council is expected to decide Thursday whether or not they will allow the introduction of LR 2329 – “An Act to Align Maine’s Marijuana Laws With the Guidelines Governing Taxation and Regulation Issued by the Federal Government.”

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Diane Russel (D-Portland) and would permit the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana by individuals over the age of 21 if passed. It would establish a regulated retail system to distribute cannabis, edibles, and other infused products as well.

“The policy is focused on the responsible adult market and does not rewrite, recreate or in any way restrict the medical marijuana laws already on the books.”– Erik Altieri

As it stands, LR 2329 would allow the possession of up to 2 and 1/2 ounces of cannabis for adult-use, more than both Washington and Colorado. Unlike in Washington however, Maine residents would be permitted to cultivate up to 6 plants as well as obtain cannabis from licensed retail locations.

LR 2329 calls for a 10% sales tax and a 15% excise tax on adult-use cannabis sales, with a minimum excise tax of $1.50 per gram. With that in mind, the prospective tax revenue will be allocated to public school construction, addiction treatment services, underage sales prevention, research, as well as programs to help low-income medical marijuana patients afford their medicine.

Nonetheless, “the policy is focused on the responsible adult market and does not rewrite, recreate or in any way restrict the medical marijuana laws already on the books,” according to Erik Altieri – Communications Director for NORML. Medical marijuana patients will remain able to obtain their medicine without a rise in taxes.

Maine Considers Marijuana Legalization Bill

Following in the footsteps of Colorado, LR 2329 ensures that Maine residents (2+ years) will be given priority for business licenses in the state. This is especially true in the case of those with experience as a current medical marijuana dispensary or caregiver.

Four types of licenses will be awarded by the state: Retail, Cultivation, Products, and Testing. It is expected that there will be different tiers in the case of cultivation licenses, based on the size of each facility. LR 2329 allows for a maximum of 10,000 square feet per facility.

“LR 2329 would allow home-growing, but not for sale.”

In addition to licensed cultivation facilities, the measure would allow home-growing. In order to do so, one would have to apply for a home cultivation license, which prohibits the sale of their product.

“Municipalities may sell twist tie tax stamps to adult consumers who must attach the tie to the plant demonstrating they have the right to grow it,” Altieri explained. “This does a few things. It allows individuals 21+ to do so while providing an easy way for law enforcement to know whether the plant in question is legal. Further, it ensures revenue for the state.”

LR 2329 determines that BABLO – Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations – will be tasked with upholding the proposed regulations in Maine.