On June 27, Gov. Janet Mills signed a cannabis bill that will establish rules and a deadline for recreational cannabis sales in the state.
According to Portland Press Herald, the legal framework set up by LD-719 will take effect 90 days after June 20, which was the date that the Maine legislature adjourned. Roughly, progress for licenses can be expected to proceed in September. After this deadline, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy has 60 days to finalize these regulations. However, recreational cannabis sales aren’t expected to begin until March 2020. The law allows those who have been residents of Maine for at least four years to qualify for a cultivation or sales license.
There wasn’t a public signing ceremony for LD-719, but Mills still issued a statement about her decision. “Over the course of the last several months, my administration has worked quickly to implement the law regarding Maine’s adult-use recreational marijuana market as Maine voters asked the state to do 2 1/2 years ago,” Mills stated. “The rule development demonstrates what can be accomplished when state government works with lawmakers, industry stakeholders and the public to accomplish a shared goal. With this law, we are one step closer to honoring the will of Maine voters.”
This law, paired with a law that was adopted in 2018, will work together to regulate Maine’s recreational industry. However as of right now, only 15 of Maine’s municipalities have opted in for recreational cannabis (out of a total of 455).
The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy communicates frequently with many different agencies to ensure that state’s program is successful. According to the office’s Director Erik Gunderson, the team feels proud of the program they have been able to establish. “The Office of Marijuana Policy has set several ambitious timelines since being established in February, and we are proud to have been able to meet all of them,” said Gundersen. “We have drafted these rules with a view toward keeping the public’s health and safety at the forefront.”