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Law Maine Medical Cannabis

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
Main » Legal Issues » State Laws » Medical Marijuana » Maine Medical Marijuana Law
Maine Medical Marijuana Law[/paste:font]
Status

Operational

Law Signed:
1999
QUALIFYING CONDITIONS
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn's disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Huntington's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS
Two and one-half ounces

HOME CULTIVATION
Yes, patients (or their primary caregivers) may possess no more than six mature marijuana plants.

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES ALLOWED
Yes, a minimum of eight.

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES OPERATIONAL
Yes

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES
  • Me. Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §2423-D (2010)
  • Me. Rev. Stat. Tit. 22, §§2422; 2425 (2010)
  • Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22, § 2383-B(5), (6) (1999) (amended 2001)
  • Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 22, § 2383-B(3)(e) (amended 2001)
CAREGIVERS
Yes, primary caregiver is a person providing care for the registered patient. The caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. The caregiver can never have been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense. Patients can name one or two primary caregivers. (Only one person may be allowed to cultivate marijuana for a registered patient).

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF REGISTERED PATIENTS
RECIPROCITY
Yes, authorizes visiting qualifying patient with valid registry identification card (or its equivalent), to engage in conduct authorized for the registered patient (the medical use of marijuana) for 30 days after entering the State, without having to obtain a Maine registry identification card. Visiting qualifying patients are not authorized to obtain in Maine marijuana for medical use.

CONTACT INFORMATION
STATE REGULATIONS:
Statement of Maine's Medicinal Marijuana Law [PDF]



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Here's what you can do under the legal marijuana law:
The law, which was passed by referendum in November, allows adults 21 and over to legally possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

Adults can also have six flowering marijuana plants and 12 nonflowering plants.

Marijuana use is allowed in private homes.

You can give marijuana to a friend as along as you receive nothing in return.

Here's what you can't do under the legal marijuana law:
Driving while high and smoking marijuana in public remain illegal.

You can't sell marijuana, and marijuana retail stores and social clubs remain on hold until next year at the earliest.

The Legislature passed a law pushing the opening of marijuana stores and other marijuana sales in Maine until February 2018. The moratorium also closed a loophole in the new law that allowed legal possession of marijuana by youth.

A committee of Maine lawmakers that will work to implement the rules around legal marijuana will get started this week.

Legislative leaders announced the members of the Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation on Monday.

The committee will make recommendations to the full state legislature.

Gov. Paul LePage signed an executive order on Monday directing rulemaking authority legal marijuana to the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

He said last week he wanted the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations to oversee legal marijuana, instead of the Department of Agriculture.

“The era of marijuana prohibition in Maine is finally coming to an end,” David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement.

“Responsible adult marijuana consumers will no longer be harassed and treated like criminals," Boyer said. "Police will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes rather than punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.”

Opponents of legalized marijuana in Maine say they will continue fighting to make sure its implementation is done with public safety in mind.
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
Mainers voted for a 10 percent tax on weed, but lawmakers want more
"We are low compared to other states," said Rep. Teresa Pierce of Falmouth, Democratic co-chairman of the special committee. "I'm thinking 25 percent"


By Penelope Overton, Portland Press Herald

July 13–AUGUSTA — State lawmakers are debating how much they can tax recreational marijuana without driving consumers back to the black market.

On Wednesday, the lawmakers charged with crafting Maine’s marijuana regulatory system struggled to find that “sweet spot” of taxing enough to pay for the cost of enforcing the law and some drug prevention, and hopefully making the state at least some money, but not taxing it so much that consumers will still buy their marijuana from a street dealer.

“I know we’re interested in raising revenue, of course, but we need to consider our other policy goals, too, including our desire to eliminate the black market,” said Rep. Kent Ackley, an independent from Monmouth. “We want people who have been growing, buying and selling for years in the black market to come into this new regulated market. If the tax is too high, that won’t happen, and the black market will continue.”

Stamping out the black market for marijuana and other drugs may be more important than raising revenue, Ackley said.

But other lawmakers, like Republican Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta, a co-chairman of the committee, said Maine needs to be careful not to set low tax rates or adopt regulations, like allowing towns to tax local marijuana businesses, that will encourage marijuana use, even if it helps the state balance its budget. The ballot measure only won by the smallest of margins, some lawmakers noted.

In the legalization ballot measure approved last fall, voters supported a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana, but most lawmakers seem to dismiss that as too low. Instead, members of the marijuana legalization committee appeared to prefer a combination of sales and excise taxes that would be at least twice as high, or 20 percent, with some wanting to go even higher.

“We are low compared to other states,” said Rep. Teresa Pierce of Falmouth, Democratic co-chairman of the special committee. “I’m thinking 25 percent.”

Different approaches
Each of the other seven states that have legal recreational marijuana markets approach taxes differently.

Related stories
In Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, consumers pay a 10 percent marijuana sales tax, a 2.9 percent general sales tax, and possibly a local sales tax, which is 3.5 percent in Denver. Marijuana wholesalers pay different taxes on different parts of the plant — higher rates for buds, lower rates for trim — that averages out to be a 15 percent excise tax. Medical marijuana is taxed at 2.9 percent.

Massachusetts is still working to rewrite the legalization law passed by voters last November, the same time Maine legalized. The voters had set a maximum 12 percent tax on marijuana — composed of the standard 6.25 percent sales tax, a 3.75 percent excise tax and the option of a 2 percent local tax — but state lawmakers there want to raise it to a 28 percent tax rate.

Using the 10 percent tax rate approved by Maine voters, the state is likely to bring in about $18 million a year once the market is established, in two or three years or so, said James Myall, a policy analyst for the Maine Center for Economic Policy. While some advocates expect Maine to benefit from its vibrant tourism industry, Myall notes that a lot of Maine’s 36 million tourists come from Canada and Massachusetts, where marijuana also is going to legally available.

Towns could get a cut
Myall noted the price of recreational marijuana in Maine is higher than the national average, at least for now, likely because a lot of it is grown in the West, or even in Mexico, and must pass through several parties, and several markups, before it reaches the local market. He said that the average price of non-medical marijuana in Maine is about $10.50 a gram, compared to $7.50 to $8.50 in western states.

State lawmakers are wrestling with whether to give towns a cut of the revenue, allowing them to levy their own tax or sharing a percentage of the state tax with towns that host marijuana businesses, much like those that host casinos. Without a tax incentive, towns are unlikely to open their doors to legal marijuana businesses, creating a void that will allow the black market to continue, supporters say.

They are also wrestling with exactly how they should levy a tax — with a sales tax that is charged at the point of sale and is clearly visible to the buyer or with an excise tax built into the process, perhaps when a grower sells wholesale marijuana to a retail store. While some want a tax that is a percentage of the total sale, others want to tax by volume, or weight, while Ackley wants to tax based on marijuana potency.

A tax based on weight — Alaska charges a $50 per ounce tax on cultivation facilities — insulates the state from price fluctuations, supporters say. No other state currently taxes on potency, but that would allow the state to possibly differentiate between recreational marijuana, which usually has a higher level of THC, the agent that actually gets you high, and medical marijuana, which usually has lower levels.

The committee still has a lot of work to do before it submits its bill that will create the overall regulatory structure, including setting the tax rates, licensing criteria, cultivation limits and whether or not to allow social clubs, a component of Maine’s legalization ballot measure that would create a setting outside the home for adults to consume cannabis. If approved, Maine would be the first state to license such clubs.

Katz hopes the committee can make most of its key decisions by the end of the month and have a bill written for consideration by fall.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Maine Panel Mulls Doubling 10% Tax on Cannabis
As the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in Maine nears, a legislative panel has spent months pondering the best way to tax cannabis to bring in state revenue, fund regulatory enforcement and discourage the illicit market.

In November, legalization of recreational marijuana was approved. Possession of recreational marijuana became legal this year, while the Legislature pushed back the legalization until at least February.

The referendum included licensing fees as well as a 10 percent tax on sales by retail marijuana stores and social clubs.

“I think we’ll definitely be increasing (the tax) to some level,” said Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce, co-chair of the Legislature’s joint marijuana legalization implementation committee.

But nothing’s been decided yet, said Pierce, who added there may be a special session in October for a vote on a final bill. Committee co-chair Republican Sen. Roger Katz said the committee is meeting often and hopes to wrap up its work by September. The Legislature approved $200,000 for the committee and $1.4 million to the state for the costs of putting together marijuana regulations, including consultants.

Meanwhile, medical marijuana dispensaries and advocacy groups so far this year have reported spending more than $265,000 on lobbyists to sway officials. Legalize Maine has reported spending $32,000, while Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana has reported spending nearly $85,000.

The regulations will govern issues from the use of pesticides to growing for personal consumption, and the Legislature faces further votes on a bill to set up a system of labs to test marijuana. Pierce said that overall, the idea is to learn from states like Colorado.

“We are really trying to make sure we give opportunity for small grows to happen, so people who don’t want to be big industrial marijuana producers can be in the market,” Pierce said.

That could look like a market “almost akin to the craft beer market,” she said.

One of the biggest issues ahead of lawmakers is deciding what the tax is, how it’s structured and where the money will be directed.

Katz said the idea is for licensing fees to cover the state’s regulatory and enforcement costs, with tax revenues possibly going toward public health programs to discourage youth marijuana consumption or efforts against impaired driving.

He said lawmakers share the concern of finding “that sweet spot so we’re not driving people to the black market.”

But the head of a marijuana legalization campaign is pushing back against talk of a 20 percent tax.

“Twenty percent is too high,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine and a board member of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine.

“The tax needs to be 10 percent to make sure we don’t encourage an illicit market. Maine already has an active cannabis economy.”

Maine is looking at examples from others states, some of which also allow local taxes. Colorado has a 15 percent excise tax and 15 percent sales tax on marijuana, while Oregon has a 17 percent sales tax and Washington has a 37 percent excise tax.

Alaska, meanwhile, has a tax of $50 per ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. And in Massachusetts, where voters also legalized recreational marijuana last fall, the Legislature sent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker a bill for a 10.75 percent excise tax on top of the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax.

Taxes on medical marijuana, meanwhile, are generally lower. Medical marijuana in Maine is subject to a 5.5 percent sales tax.

How recreational marijuana “is going to relate to the existing medical marijuana program is a real issue for us,” Katz said.

But, he said of Maine’s medical marijuana program: “We’re not going to touch that, we don’t feel it’s within our purview at the moment.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
In Maine, the marijuana comes to you

PORTLAND, Maine — Logan Martyn-Fisher checks his phone's GPS one more time and pulls up at the Portland Amtrak station, thousands of dollars of marijuana concealed in a pair of colorful beach totes sitting on the back seat of his BMW SUV.

He’s looking for a guy who’s looking for pot.

Maine doesn’t yet allow legal marijuana sales, so Martyn-Fisher, his girlfriend and their BMW have carved a niche for themselves in a state where possessing, growing and consuming cannabis now is permitted. This past fall, Maine voters legalized marijuana as of the start of this year, but lawmakers still are developing a system of state-regulated stores to sell it.

They hope to have the stores open by February 2018.

That’s where Martyn-Fisher stepped in: While marijuana sales remain illegal, he’s giving away pot but charging hefty “delivery” fees.

“It kind of sucks we don’t have a store,” he said. “We have to have all these sketchy meetings in parking lots. It doesn’t really feel like you’re running a legitimate business.”

And so this day finds Martyn-Fisher driving through the train station parking lot, peering through his mirrored Oakley sunglasses for his next customer, wads of cash stuffed in his pocket. Like many marijuana entrepreneurs, Martyn-Fisher can't accept credit or debit cards since most banks are afraid to violate federal drug-trafficking laws.

His girlfriend runs the online ordering via the Elevation 207 Facebook page and directs Martyn-Fisher to the customers. (207 is Maine's sole area code). Much of their time is spent reassuring customers that what they’re doing is legal, especially first-time buyers nervous that they’re ordering a federally illegal drug to be delivered personally.

“Got him,” Martyn-Fisher says as he makes another pass through the station parking lot.

He pulls up and the man, looking a little nervous, opens his wallet and begins counting out $20 bills, handing the stack to Martyn-Fisher, who hands him back packages of vacuum-sealed marijuana. The buyer offers his thanks as he stuffs the packages into his backpack, and Martyn-Fisher discreetly counts the $390 he was expecting.

He hits the road again, headed to a luxury hotel near the waterfront, to meet a frequent buyer and business traveler. The buyer recognizes the arriving BMW and walks to the window as Martyn-Fisher pulls up, handing over a wad of greenbacks in exchange for 2.5 ounces of marijuana, the legal maximum a person can possess.

On a whim a few months ago, Martyn-Fisher posted a Craigslist advertisement offering delivery services. It didn’t get much attention at first, but a series of television and newspaper stories about it has taken him and his girlfriend from about four deliveries a day to more than 30 at their busiest as the summer tourism season was getting under way in June.

“We have to have all these sketchy meetings in parking lots. It doesn’t really feel like you’re running a legitimate business.”

Logan Martyn-Fisher, Portland, Maine

“I do this every day, all day long, every day,” he said. “It’s really hard to say no to money.”

Maine’s legislators are meeting nearly daily all summer and fall as they develop a system to tax, regulate and sell marijuana. Like legislators in other states, Maine’s lawmakers are trying to decide who can get a license to sell pot and who will oversee the regulations and collect the taxes.

Martyn-Fisher isn’t waiting for them.

Using Facebook to highlight the day’s offerings, such as $100 for 10 grams of marijuana delivered, he’s quickly building a customer base around the Portland area, stressing that he’s charging a delivery free for a free product.

The minimum delivery fee is $75. His Elevation 207 service is booming as he drops off smokable marijuana flowers, concentrates and cannabis-infused candies to customers.

Based on his encounters with local police, he’s confident his workaround is working, particularly in exploiting the interplay between the state’s medical and recreational cannabis laws.

The recreational laws don’t yet permit someone like him to have so much marijuana. But he’s also a certified medical caregiver, which means he’s allowed to grow and possess larger amounts.

The legal area is gray, in part because Maine hasn’t made marijuana enforcement a priority. In Portland, voters in 2013 decriminalized marijuana, suggesting to Martyn-Fisher and other advocates that police have gotten the message: Hands off our pot.

“They don’t seem to care, and that’s a feeling I’ve had for a while,” he said. “Maine has some pretty relaxed views about marijuana. They’ve got more serious things to deal with.”


Logan Martyn-Fisher holds a vacuum-sealed bag of marijuana June 12, 2017, as he waits for a customer in Portland, Maine. (Photo: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY)

One of those more serious things is the state’s rampant opioid and heroin abuse.

Last year 376 Mainers died from drug overdoses. In a state with just 1.3 million residents, those deaths hit extra hard.

For many marijuana sellers, it’s hard to understand why their industry faces such scrutiny when oxycodone — a federally regulated prescription medicine — repeatedly has proven fatal when abused.

The kinds of customers that Martyn-Fisher said he gets show the nation’s drug laws and police are focused on the wrong priorities. In an afternoon, he made deliveries to a man with his kids in the backseat and a married couple with their kids in the backseat.

Baby boomers make up a large portion of his client base. These are not irresponsible drug abusers but instead regular Americans who choose to consume marijuana the way many other consume alcohol: responsibly and in moderation, he said.

Martyn-Fisher's favorite customer so far was an out-of-state father taking his daughter on a college visit

“He was so excited, giving us thumbs up as we were leaving,” Martyn-Fisher said.

Looking ahead, he hopes Maine’s lawmakers can settle on a regulatory system that rewards and encourages entrepreneurs like himself, people who want to own and operate legitimate businesses, selling a product that millions of Americans clearly want to buy.

Portland police didn’t return a message seeking comment.

“My mom is still worried,” he said as he turns the BMW down one of Portland’s cobblestoned streets en route to the next customer. “But my dad went on deliveries with me.”

Not much different than the "donate and gift" scheme used in DC to get around the lack of a regulated market.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

Panel Leaders: Commercial Pot Licensing Might Take Until Next Summer to Get Up and Running


Leaders of a special legislative committee implementing Maine's legal marijuana law say commercial licensing and sale of the drug is unlikely to begin until next summer.

The committee today completed drafting the regulatory framework for the voter-approved law, but those guidelines must first be finalized and adopted by the Legislature before the final rulemaking process can begin.

Republican state Sen. Roger Katz, co-chairman of the committee, is hopeful the process will move quickly.

"The sooner we get this up and running the better," Katz said. "As we've said, there's only two groups of people who should really want to see this legal market up and running quickly, and that's people who like marijuana and people who don't like marijuana. Because either it's going to be done legally, or it's going to continue in the black market," he said.

Katz is hopeful the Legislature will pass the bill as an emergency during a special session in late October. But even if that happens, the regulatory apparatus won't be in place before the Legislature-enacted moratorium on commercial sales ends Feb. 1.

Democratic state Rep. Teresa Pierce, co-chairman of the committee, is also hoping the process will move quickly.

"I think it's important and once we do our work and pass the bill and it goes into effect, that we encourage and work closely with the executive branch to work at all haste to get it up and going," Pierce said, "because the longer we go along without it being a market and ready to roll, the more the illicit market plays in the state. And really want to get away from that."

The committee agreed on a wide variety of changes to the voter-approved legal marijuana law, including a moratorium on social clubs where recreational marijuana can be consumed.

The committee is also proposing changes to the taxing of the drug, adding a 10 percent excise tax based on the weight sold from commercial growers to retailers. The excise tax would be separate from the 10 percent sales tax approved by voters that applies only to retail sales.

In addition, the committee is proposing a revenue sharing mechanism that will allow municipalities allowing commercial sales, cultivation or distribution to take a slice of the tax revenue. The proposal is designed to encourage participation in the legal market.

Several towns have already enacted local bans on commercial sales, in some cases for ideological reasons, in others because the towns have no financial incentive to participate.

Katz said the draft proposal is designed to allow local municipalities the flexibility to ban commercial sales, while giving others a reason to try it. He said the success of the legal market could depend on ensuring that commercial sales aren't only allowed in just a handful of localities.

"We do think it's important that there not be wide areas of this state where there isn't any opportunity to buy legally," he said, "so we have put in our proposal something where a percentage of the taxes that get raised are going to back to the municipalities that do allow for retail and other activities in their towns, to provide some incentive for folks to participate in the legal market," he said.

Katz and Pierce are also hopeful that the LePage administration will move quickly to create rules as soon as the Legislature enacts the bill later this fall. Gov. Paul LePage has been an opponent of recreational marijuana and campaigned against it during the citizen initiated referendum approved by voters last year.

Katz said the administration has been "disengaged" from the process so far, which he described as disappointing. He said administrations in Colorado and Washington were participants in drafting the legal framework after voters legalized marijuana in those states.

"We're hoping, now that we're approaching the end, that we'll start to get that buy-in and that there will be that same sense of urgency by the administration to do this right that I think the Legislature has now shown," he said.

Pierce agreed. She noted that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper opposed the referendum to legalize marijuana, but worked to ensure that the voter-approved law was one that works.

"He realized that once it passed that he needed to embrace it. And you do that for public safety and public health. And I really hope that when our work is done - and I think we've done good work - that the executive (LePage) will engage and have that goal in mind," she said.

The proposal will now be drafted by committee analysts before it becomes a public bill. Once that happens, the committee will hold a public hearing and work sessions in September.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
So, why isn't anybody in Maine suing the shit out of their obstructing politicians and bureaucrats....like Morgan in FL? Hmmm? It is not legal for them to ignore the results of a referendum. Hang em high, I say. You may think I go on and on about these politicians thrwarting the will of the electorate because I'm an MMJ user and activist. Well, while that is true, the real source of my outrage is my passionate commitment to democracy and outrage when anybody, but particularly the public servants we elect to office and pay, try to obstruct that will.

Maine rec cannabis launch delayed
The launch of Maine’s recreational marijuana industry is delayed, a deadline passes for Maryland’s licensed medical cannabis growers, and the Department of Justice nixes a DEA decision on MJ research.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Maine’s adult-use cannabis industry won’t launch until next summer – at the very earliest – simply because state regulators say they don’t have enough time to craft rules and start licensing rec businesses.

While delays in new markets aren’t uncommon – especially in New England – Maine’s situation may be more dire, depending on how obstinate state government officials, especially anti-cannabis Gov. Paul LePage, decide to be.

One of the state’s key cannabis advocates isn’t optimistic at all about what may ensue.

Paul McCarrier – the president of Legalize Maine, which was instrumental in the legalization of rec cannabis last year – declined comment on whether the adult-use industry will ever be allowed to start in his state.

Asked if he was confident the rec industry will launch at some point in 2018, McCarrier replied, “I can’t comment on that.”

“The biggest thing is that legislators had an opportunity to work with the executive branch … and they thought they knew better than the voters and decided not to respect and adhere to what the voters approved,” McCarrier said.

He said it’s a “best-case scenario” the state will start issuing adult-use licenses in the summer of 2018.

Asked what the worst-case scenario is, he demurred. Rather, he said, the 2016 rec ballot measure had “a very clear timetable,” which state lawmakers have ignored.

So, from McCarrier’s standpoint, the future of Maine’s rec cannabis industry is immensely uncertain.
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member

Lawmakers propose 20 percent sales tax on recreational pot


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A legislative committee wants to double the recreational marijuana sales tax to 20 percent, allow drive-thru sales and let medical marijuana dispensaries be run as for-profit entities.

The Maine Legislature’s marijuana legalization committee will consider the draft marijuana bill released Tuesday when it convenes later this month.

The Maine committee had previously supported adding a 10 percent excise tax on business owners who sell marijuana on top of the 10 percent sales tax.

Committee co-chair Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce said the tweak was due to the committee’s lack of taxing expertise.

Legalize Maine President Paul McCarrier said tax hikes will empower the black market. But he said Maine would get the most tax revenue from a sales tax.

The legislation would allow the state’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services to enforce the law, as it does for alcohol in its Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

Regulation of cultivation, manufacturing, testing, packaging and labeling would fall under the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Lawmakers said they’ll likely postpone legalization of recreational marijuana sales until February at the earliest. And marijuana social clubs wouldn’t be authorized until June 2018.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
IN my opinion, citing the Fed law as reason to not pay is not valid. They are not procuing MJ for him or in any way involved in the transaction. They merely reimburse him for out of pocket expenses that they agree are covered. I don't see the validity of the argument.


Insurer says it shouldn’t have to pay for medical marijuana
By Associated Press September 13 at 4:30 PM
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine supreme court on Wednesday began considering whether a paper millworker left suicidal by narcotic painkillers should receive workers’ compensation for medical marijuana.

It’s the first time the court has considered the question of insurance reimbursement for medical marijuana.

Madawaska resident Gaetan Bourgoin won a ruling from the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board two years ago saying the paper mill’s insurer must reimburse him for medical marijuana. He contends marijuana is cheaper and safer than narcotics.

But Twin Rivers Paper Co. and its insurer appealed the ruling, arguing that paying for pot use, even for medical purposes, could expose the companies to prosecution since marijuana still is illegal at the federal level.

With medical marijuana legal in Washington, D.C. and 29 states, insurers across the country have been confronted with the same dilemma. Uneven state laws on reimbursement further complicate the issue.

Five states — Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Mexico — have found medical marijuana treatment is reimbursable under their workers compensation laws, according to the National Counsel for Compensation Insurance. Florida and North Dakota, meanwhile, passed laws this year excluding medical marijuana treatment from workers’ compensation reimbursement.

Members of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court posed hypotheticals to the attorneys arguing the case. One asked Bourgoin’s attorney what he’d do if a client needed cocaine for pain treatment, and another asked Twin Rivers’ attorney whether she believes the federal government will start prosecuting insurers for medical marijuana reimbursement.

Justice Donald Alexander repeatedly questioned whether marijuana use should remain illegal under federal law and contrasted the drug with opioid-based painkillers, which he said drug companies have lobbied Congress to protect.

“Opioids are killing people every day in Maine,” he said.

Bourgoin’s case dates to 1989, when he hurt his back as a 29-year-old at the paper mill now known as Twin Rivers.

His attorney, Norman Trask, said Bourgoin pays for medical marijuana out-of-pocket and receives reimbursement from Twin Rivers’ insurer. Bourgoin previously took opioid-based painkillers, which caused other problems.

“At one point he was on such high dosages that they were concerned about his oxygen levels at night,” Trask said. “He became suicidal.”

Twin Rivers attorney Anne-Marie Storey said paying for medical marijuana puts the company in violation of federal law. The company contends that Maine’s medical marijuana law does not explicitly require an insurer to cover the cost of medical marijuana.

“This is not a case about making judgment over whether someone should use or not use marijuana as a matter of personal choice,” she said. There’s a scarcity of research on medical marijuana, and “nobody knows” how safe it is, she said.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Maine: Hearing on recreational marijuana bill draws crowd to Augusta

There was no shortage of comments as scores of Mainers filled a hearing room and two overflow rooms at the State House to express their concerns with proposed legislation to regulate the recreational sale of marijuana in Maine. And those testifying were not shy about spelling out what they don’t like about the bill.

Members of the special committee set up to draft legislation were told the draft bill needs plenty of changes, and some, like Joanne Reese of Bryant Pond, think the committee has strayed too far from the measure that voters approved last fall by just under 4,000 votes.

“I oppose this bill because I am concerned it doesn’t uphold the will of the voters, as others have noticed. And I encourage you to keep the original language of the bill intact whenever possible,” she says. “I also oppose this bill because it compromises the integrity of the medical program.”

Maine has allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes since voters approved it at referendum in 1999. And several people questioned the committee’s decision to propose changing that program, too.

“This would make plants that are currently legally being grown by patients that may have been in compliance with the law for over a decade, all of a sudden as soon as this went into effect they would in effect become criminals,” says Hilary Lister, a former medical marijuana caregiver who now advocates for cannabis patients.

Also unhappy with the draft bill is David Boyer, the political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which led the successful marijuana legalization campaign. Specifically, Boyer objects to a proposed delay in the establishment of social clubs, places similar to coffee shops, where people could use marijuana.

“Social club delay — not cool. We think that towns should have the right to decide what is best for them. That is the whole crux of Question 1,” he says.

Others urged the committee to change its tax proposal. The panel is proposing a 20 percent sales tax, double the rate in the original bill. Campaign supporter Alysia Melnick proposed setting the tax at 12 percent with yearly increases until it reached 20 percent.

Another red flag for some people is access for youth. Jamie Comstock is worried the committee’s proposal makes it too easy.

“Drive-thru and internet sales and delivery of marijuana create increased opportunities for youth access to marijuana. They reduce the ability for employees to check IDs and appraise patrons for signs of visible intoxication,” she says.

At times, the testimony became emotional. Valerie Webster from Hampden says the land across the street from her house has been bought by an out-of-state commercial firm that plans to build a large marijuana growing facility. She worries about the effect on her property values.

“I worry if I am ever going to be able to sell it. Am I ever going to get my money back out if this with a commercial facility across the street?” she says.

Tom Obear, a member of Legalize Maine, says the committee didn’t adopt enough standards to protect Maine’s small businesses.

“Such as stronger residency requirements, smaller cultivation canopies or even a simple stipulation that if you own a dispensary in another state you can’t apply in Maine. But, you didn’t. So, I wonder, is it that you are really terrible at your jobs, or you are really good at tailoring legislation to corporations?” he says.

The committee plans to complete a proposal for the full Legislature to consider in a special session next month. Meanwhile, committee members say the hope to have retail sales underway by early next year isn’t going to happen.

Once lawmakers pass a bill, rules will need to be adopted to implement it, along with establishment of a licensing system and a state inspection program.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Where will Maine marijuana tax dollars go?
The Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation has a plan


By The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine legislative panel agreed Thursday on how to divvy tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales after putting the kibosh on drive-thru sales, internet sales and home delivery.

The Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation wants to provide 5 percent to towns that host retail or cultivation businesses. Another 6 percent would go to law enforcement and 6 percent to public education. The remainder would go to the state’s general fund.

The panel held two days of hearings with a goal of getting a proposal in shape to be considered during a special legislative session next month.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the panel on Thursday revived the idea of scrapping a 20 percent sales tax in favor of a 10 percent sales tax and 10 percent excise tax.

The idea renewed by House Chairwoman Teresa Pierce of Falmouth is aimed at guarding against revenue fluctuations when price changes occur. The excise tax reflects a wholesale tax based on weight, not price.

Related stories
Either way, the 20 percent tax rate is about twice what voters approved in November. Medicinal marijuana, which has been legal in Maine since 1999, is taxed at 5.5 percent and edibles at 8 percent.

On Wednesday, the panel eliminated drive-thru sales, internet sales and home delivery, and increased the residency requirement for recreational license applications for six months to 2 years.

Lawmakers have pushed back legalization of recreational marijuana sales until February at the earliest, angering some marijuana supporters.

Just over half of Maine voters voted in November to legalize recreational marijuana, with 49.74 percent opposed.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Maine: Residents say they support retail marijuana sales

By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, midcoast residents oppose the prohibition of recreational marijuana retail shops, social clubs, commercial cultivation, and other operations in Damariscotta, though a majority of respondents favor regulations, such as a limit on the number of business licenses and zoning.

For the past month, the town of Damariscotta has been soliciting feedback on how, if at all, the town should regulate recreational marijuana-related businesses through an 18-question survey. The survey was posted on the town’s website and in its email newsletter, and paper copies were available at the town office.

On Tuesday, Town Manager Matt Lutkus sent an email to the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen containing the results of the survey. Of the 235 responses the town received, 150 respondents identified themselves as residents of Damariscotta. The survey results of Damariscotta residents and all respondents were almost identical.

Of the 235 people who answered the question about whether the town should prohibit the sale, commercial cultivation, manufacturing, and testing of marijuana and marijuana products in Damariscotta, 73 area residents, or 31.06 percent, supported prohibition. In the Damariscotta-only results, 53 respondents, or 35.33 percent, favored prohibition.

In the event that commercial marijuana activities are allowed in Damariscotta, a majority of respondents said there should be a limit on the number of licenses issued for retail sales, social clubs, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities.

Of the respondents who answered the question, 145 area residents, or 62.23 percent, said marijuana retail sales should be limited to specific areas of town. Of those in favor of restricting marijuana retail sales to specific areas, 121 respondents said retail sales should not be allowed in residential zones, and 90 people said they should not be allowed in the C1 downtown district.

Questions about restriction of social clubs, commercial cultivation, and manufacturing and testing facilities saw similar results, with area residents being in favor of limiting the operations to specific areas of town outside the downtown and residential zones.

The overwhelming majority of area residents said retail shops, social clubs, commercial cultivation, manufacturing, and testing of marijuana and marijuana products should not be allowed within 500 feet of schools and day cares.

Responders also had the opportunity to supply anonymous comments at the end of the survey. Many made comments in favor of allowing for new business opportunities and encouraged the town to regulate marijuana as it does alcohol.

One of the comments made against allowing recreational marijuana sales said recreational marijuana would change the demographic of vacationers in town, while others expressed concern about the exposure of young people to marijuana.

Now that the town has received the results of the survey, the selectmen will discuss scheduling a community conversation to get further input, Lutkus said. The board will discuss the date for the community conversation when it meets at the town office at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
fucking shithead politicians at it again.

Legalize Maine says legislature’s rewrite of pot law ‘not ready for prime time’

Legalize Maine has come out against the proposed legislative rewrite of a voter-approved recreational marijuana law, saying the bill that is slated for a special session vote Monday “isn’t ready for prime time.”

The group’s president, Paul T. McCarrier, said the amendment to the state Marijuana Legalization Act would create chaos in the new market, making it difficult for marijuana businesses to find a place to set up shop.

The major sticking point for Legalize Maine is language in the bill requiring towns to “opt in” to the marijuana market, or take legislative action to allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate in their borders, McCarrier said this morning.

The voter-approved law gives towns the ability to “opt out” of the adult-use market by taking legislative action, like a ban adopted by ordinance or city council vote. A municipality could also require occupation permits and charge business license fees.

“This will only encourage the black market in Maine and is the exact opposite of what the voters of Maine approved of last fall,” said McCarrier. “The process of how this language was inserted is disturbing and makes this bill not ready for prime time.”

Supporters of the opt-in language, including Republican Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta and Democrat Rep. Teresa Pierce of Falmouth, the two chairmen of the marijuana committee, say this gives towns more local control to towns, which is something promised by the voter-approved law that Legalize Maine helped to pass. Without it, lawmakers from the towns that voted against last fall’s referendum may not support the bill.

In a joint statement, Katz and Pierce said Tuesday that McCarrier’s “11th hour opposition is unfortunate, surprising and disappointing, given his side by side involvement with the committee through this process.

“Local control is a centerpiece of this bill – a concept which is supported by virtually everyone else and is in keeping with the Maine way,” they wrote. “We went with an ‘opt-in’ system because this is exactly how state law works with alcohol, and it seemed appropriate to mirror that.”

They said they didn’t think Legalize Maine’s opposition would kill the bill.

“We are confident that our colleagues will approve this bill because the alternative is chaos,” they wrote. “We are proud of our committee’s work and the totally transparent process we followed.”

The proposed bill is the result of nine months of work by a special joint committee established to set up the rules of the new adult-use cannabis market. The legislature is expected to take the bill up for discussion and a likely vote at an Oct. 23 special session of the legislature.

Supporters have said the bill needs to be passed to get the new market up and running. The legislature voted to delay implementation of most sections of the law, including all retail sales, to allow the committee time to establish a licensing and tax structure.

But McCarrier said killing the bill would not necessarily delay the launch of the adult-use cannabis market in Maine. The state could set rules for cultivation and retail sales for the voter-approved law that Legalize Maine helped write, McCarrier said.

McCarrier also criticized the legislative process of developing the bill, which he said was rushed and included last-minute changes that took place after public hearings, such as the opt-in language that caused Legalize Maine to pull its support for the bill.

His group also opposes a part of the bill that would require cultivators to pay an excise tax to municipalities, which would require towns to accept large amounts of cash. Because marijuana is prohibited under federal law, most marijuana businesses do not have access to banking services, which means they must pay all their bills in cash. He thinks this poses a public safety issue for local municipalities.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
And more asshole politicians who don't get that they were TOLD what to do by the electorate, not asked. Another sad example of the disconnect between our elected "representatives" and the electorate's will. People in Maine, tell your political hacks to f*ck off and do what they were told to do.

Maine Governor proposes pushing back legal cannabis sales until 2019

Maine’s Republican governor is proposing that lawmakers consider simply delaying recreational marijuana sales, instead of passing a legislative re-write of the voter-approved marijuana law.

The Maine Legislature is set to return Monday to consider a re-write offered by a legislative committee handling marijuana implementation.

Republican House Minority Leader Ken Fredette said he is sponsoring Gov. Paul LePage’s bill to delay recreational marijuana sales to January 2019. Lawmakers had previously pushed back implementation to February.

Fredette said there are concerns about the committee’s proposal and lawmakers having the time to read the 70-page bill, which would also delay sales until 2019.

Advocacy group Legalize Maine said the committee’s bill would make it harder to set up marijuana businesses. The bill would require towns to “opt in” to the adult-use marijuana market.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Fredette said there are concerns about the committee’s proposal and lawmakers having the time to read the 70-page bill, which would also delay sales until 2019.
Lol... what ever happened to "we need to pass it to see what's in it?" :dog: Fuck.. a 70 page bill is giving them an issue? Gosh.. they might need a break before and after reading it... :buenrollo:
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Fuck.. a 70 page bill is giving them an issue? Gosh.. they might need a break before and after reading it... :buenrollo:

I know, its sad, right? Really sad.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
The more I read about state level politicians, the more pessimistic I get. How did so many complete fucking assholes chose the same parasitic career?

Legislature sends marijuana regulation bill to LePage, who may kill it

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature endorsed a plan to regulate the state’s new recreational marijuana market Monday, but it doesn’t have enough support to withstand an expected veto from Gov. Paul LePage.

All of that threatens to kick the debate around Maine’s voter-approved legalization law into next year after a special legislative committee worked for months on a complex bill to regulate the industry that has fallen victim to a messy split — even among marijuana advocates.

It passed in both chambers Monday and went to the Republican governor’s desk, but it fell short of the two-thirds threshold in the Maine House of Representatives needed to override an expected veto that Republicans hinted at Monday, leaving the system in limbo.

The bill from the committee would set up a state licensing system for cultivators, stores, marijuana product manufacturers and testers. It also establishes a 10 percent sales tax and an excise tax based on weight for wholesale sales between growers and sellers.

Mainers can already grow and possess recreational marijuana, but there’s no way to legally purchase it outside of the state’s medical marijuana system. The commercial part of the voter-approved legalization bill has been delayed until early 2018.

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, who co-chairs the committee overseeing marijuana legalization implementation that crafted the bill over the summer, said on the Senate floor that a vote against the bill would be a vote for “chaos” that would put “oxygen onto the fire of the black market.”

But House Republicans showed the bill’s tough road to passage Monday, with 46 voting against it. Rep. Patrick Corey, R-Windham, a member of the marijuana committee, noted that its fiscal estimate says the program won’t bring in enough short-term revenue to cover costs.

Earlier in the day, the House voted down a proposal from LePage to extend an existing moratorium on marijuana sales to delay commercial marijuana sales until 2019. LePage opposes recreational marijuana legalization and hasn’t worked with legislators on implementing the law.

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said a delay would allow the Legislature to return for the 2018 session starting in January and work “as a body” to “create a consensus bill.”

For marijuana businesses to start under the committee’s bill, cities and towns would have to act to allow them. The ones that do would get 5 percent of the state’s revenue. That opt-in provision divided two pro-legalization groups that warred on the referendum before agreeing to work together in 2015.

The Marijuana Policy Project, the national group that led the referendum bid, supports the committee’s bill. Legalize Maine, a group of medical marijuana advocates that wrote the voter-approved law, opposes the bill because of the opt-in provision.

Marijuana opponents backed the moratorium, with Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national group that led opposition to the referendum, saying last week that while they support the opt-in provisions, more must be done to shield young Mainers from marijuana’s negative effects.

David Boyer, who ran the Maine campaign for the Marijuana Policy Project, said delaying the law would put Maine behind Massachusetts — which legalized marijuana in 2016 alongside Maine, but is set to begin commercial sales in summer 2018 — and risk losing tourism.

“So we should give ourselves a little room to not get it perfect, but not let perfect be the enemy of good,” he said.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Highs and lows seen in Maine marijuana law delays

With the marijuana bill adopted by the Legislature last week facing a likely governor’s veto, some lawmakers say Maine could turn into the “wild, wild West” of marijuana.

Pot shops selling Snoopy-shaped edibles next to schools. Social clubs cropping up in bucolic village centers. The lowest pot tax in the country. Drive-up window sales.

“Without this bill, we go back to the referendum law,” said Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, referring to the initiative approved by voters last November that his committee spent months refining. “I think we can all agree that law is flawed. Over the last nine months, we found out just how flawed that law is. Going back to that, it would be chaos, confusion. We’ll be throwing oxygen on the fire of the black market. It will be the wild, wild West in Maine. How could anybody want that? Our bill, it’s not perfect, but it’s much, much better than that.”

Could that happen? Language embedded in the 30-page referendum makes it unlikely. The law prohibits applicants from growing recreational cannabis or operating a marijuana retail store or social club without approval from the state licensing authority and the host municipality. There is a moratorium on all but the personal-use parts of the ballot-box law for now, but even when it lapses in February, Mainers couldn’t launch an adult-use market without the OK of the state and host towns.

Gov. Paul LePage, a staunch marijuana opponent who once called it a deadly gateway drug, is unlikely to sign off on implementation of the ballot-box law if he wouldn’t direct his state agencies to even collaborate with Katz and the joint select committee on their efforts to tighten up the regulatory loopholes and craft a more conservative version of the Marijuana Legalization Act. Katz said repeated requests for collaboration were ignored. “We practically begged, but nothing.”

The voter-approved law says the state licensing authority has nine months to adopt rules for the proper regulation and control of recreational marijuana, but it does not include any timeline for the state licensing authority to begin accepting or issuing licenses.

Marijuana advocates who support the implementation bill from Katz’s committee say the referendum law has “a million loopholes” that the LePage administration could exploit to delay rolling out retail sales.

For example, the voter-approved law says an application for a marijuana cultivation, manufacturing or retail license must be made to the state licensing authority on forms prepared and furnished by the state licensing authority. “What happens if there is no form?” asked David Boyer, the state director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “That’s just one of a million loopholes in the MLA that could be used to stop the full rollout.”

PROS AND CONS OF THE STATUS QUO

Without licensed marijuana growers, manufacturers and retailers, the Maine recreational marijuana scene come March will likely look much like it does now. Adults can grow up to six mature marijuana plants and possess up to 2½ ounces of marijuana for personal use, but they can’t legally buy or sell it. Adults can grow those six plants on someone else’s land with written permission, as long as the plants are tagged, locked and not visible to the public.

Some people, like Katz, say the status quo is bad for Maine – and good for the thriving gray and black market.

Katz believes passage of the Marijuana Legalization Act has boosted public demand for a product that is not legally available for purchase, creating a vacuum in Maine that street dealers are exploiting for big profits. He has no hard evidence of this, but he said he heard repeated testimony in front of the select committee to indicate this was true. Gray-market entrepreneurs have also rushed in to take advantage of loopholes in the referendum law, he said.

For example, the practice of gifting marijuana – giving someone pot at no charge but packaging it in a baggy that costs $100 – may violate the spirit of the voter law, but it’s not technically illegal, he said. Some entrepreneurs have taken gifting to a new level, opening “bud and breakfasts” where they rent rooms at high rates but then give guests goodie bags filled with pot. This has riled town officials in host communities, like Cornish and Auburn, who want a tougher state law, Katz said.

Colorado’s former marijuana czar, Andrew Freedman, urged Maine lawmakers to prohibit the kind of large collective grows allowed by the referendum law. In Colorado, the black market used big, unregulated home grows to feed demand in neighboring states where adult-use marijuana remained illegal, he said. Several big grows were targeted by armed robbers, and turned deadly. These factors forced Colorado to tighten its law, much like Maine is trying to tighten its, he said.

ADVANTAGES OF WAITING

Not everybody thinks returning to the underlying referendum law would be a bad thing. Legalize Maine withdrew its support for the committee’s implementation bill after several last-minute changes to the bill, which its members say were conducted without public input and would make it too hard for its members, many of whom are local medical marijuana caregivers, to transition into the recreational market in the small towns were they live now.

The referendum law gives medical marijuana caregivers in good standing for two years prior to legalization a licensing advantage, allowing them to get the first shot at a limited amount of marijuana growing space that would be available under that law. The committee bill pending before LePage takes off the cultivation cap, strips the bill of caregiver licensing preferences and instead requires any applicant to have lived in Maine for at least two years.

In the current scenario, where the referendum law is in place but not fully enacted, many of Legalize Maine’s caregiver members could continue to sell marijuana to their certified patients and benefit from an increased post-referendum demand for marijuana, using a cycling loophole in the medical marijuana law that allows them to stretch the patient limit by rotating hundreds of patients through a five-patient cap.

The group’s president, Paul McCarrier, urged state lawmakers to scrap their overhaul plans. When asked about how scuttling the overhaul bill might slow down rollout of the adult-use market, McCarrier said getting the adult-use rules right was worth the wait, that tweaking the committee bill until it was “just right” didn’t have to take all that much time. He said returning to the voter-approved law would probably be the quickest and best route to adult-use commercial sales of all.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Scott Gagnon, chairman of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine, said he was “grateful for the governor’s veto of this flawed bill,” which he said doesn’t go far enough to protect youth and communities"

I hate when these pricks wrap themselves up in the "oh, but what about the children" to justify their own self-righteous desire to control other people's personal habits and activities. Fuck these hypocrites.


LePage vetoes bill to regulate marijuana sales in Maine

Gov. Paul LePage said Friday that he has vetoed a bill to tax and regulate recreational marijuana, which the Legislature sent him Oct. 23 with fragile support.

LD 1650 was written by a special legislative committee. LePage said the bill conflicts with federal law, fails to account adequately for Maine’s existing medical marijuana industry and sets “unrealistic timelines.”

“There have been serious negative effects of legalization in other states — effects that should not be repeated in Maine,” LePage wrote in his veto letter, adding that “we need assurances that a change in policy or administration at the federal level will not nullify” public and private investments in the industry.

He also said the recreational marijuana bill fails to align with existing medical marijuana law, particularly because sales tax on medical pot would be lower.

“The two programs must be considered together,” wrote LePage.

The bill would set up a state licensing system for cultivators, stores, marijuana product manufacturers and testers. It establishes a 10 percent sales tax and an excise tax based on weight for wholesale sales between growers and sellers and requires municipalities to opt in to allowing retail establishments.

Mainers can already grow and possess recreational marijuana and that won’t change as a result of the bill pending in the Legislature, but there’s no way to legally sell or purchase it outside of the state’s medical marijuana system. The commercial part of the voter-approved legalization bill has been delayed until early 2018. Failure of the current bill would mean selling marijuana for recreational purposes would remain illegal until then, though there is scant time for the executive branch to adopt rules and gain legislative approval under that deadline.

LePage and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, introduced a bid Oct. 23 to extend the existing moratorium on marijuana sales until 2019 but it failed in the House. That idea will undoubtedly be reconsidered by some on Monday afternoon, when the Legislature is scheduled to convene to consider the veto.

The original bill enacted by voters in a November 2016 referendum called for the sales and regulation system to be set up by the end of this year.

David Boyer, Maine political director of the Marijuana Policy project, who was the campaign manager for the referendum, called the veto “ill-advised.”

“Instead of a regulated and controlled system of marijuana cultivation and sales, Maine will continue to support the unregulated market,” said Boyer in a written statement.

Scott Gagnon, chairman of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine, said he was “grateful for the governor’s veto of this flawed bill,” which he said doesn’t go far enough to protect youth and communities. Gagnon helped spearhead the failed campaign against legalization in 2016.

The bill that passed Oct. 23 did not meet the two-thirds majority threshold required to override a veto. The vote was 22-9 in the Senate, which met the threshold but with four absent, and 81-50 in the House. With everyone present, an override needs 24 votes in the Senate and 101 in the House.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
What a mess....how long does LePage have left in office??


Maine Governor Vetoes Bill To Regulate Sale Of Marijuana

In a misguided 11th-hour action, the Maine governor has vetoed the bill to regulate sale of marijuana in the state. What could possibly be the reasoning behind this?

On the last possible day to take any official action, the Maine governor vetoes the bill to regulate sale of marijuana in the state. We’ll explain what this means, because, let’s be honest, it might be confusing.

Here’s what this veto means.

The State Of Weed In The State of Maine
Back in 2016, Maine voters made their voices heard on the subject of legalized recreational weed. The majority of residents were in favor of adults being able to legally possess and consume the herb without a medical card. So lawmakers passed legislation making recreational cannabis legal for adults.

Since then, Maine has been considered to be a legal state. But there’s a pretty significant caveat. You can possess, consume and even grow weed in Maine, but you can’t sell or purchase it.

Cannabis users get around this by “gifting” weed, which is legal. They can also make money doing this by “selling” the bag the weed is packaged in. As such, the legal weed market in Maine is completely unregulated.

Last month, the House and the Senate sent a bill to rectify this over to the governor, Paul LePage. The bill would put into motion steps that the state could take to start the regulation process and start generating tax revenue from cannabis.

Today was the last day for Governor LePage to either sign or veto the bill. Since he is vehemently anti-pot, chances of him signing it were minuscule. But there was still the chance he wouldn’t take any action at all, which would pass the bill.

But today, the Maine governor vetoed the bill to regulate the sale of marijuana. He cited the federal government’s stance on weed as a reason for his 11th-hour action. Pot is federally prohibited, and LePage claims that he doesn’t understand how the federal government will treat states who legalize and regulate cannabis.

That’s a pretty weak excuse if you ask us.

Final Hit: Maine Governor Vetoes Bill To Regulate Sale Of Marijuana
Because LePage vetoed the bill, the cannabis industry remains unregulated in Maine. The state will not reap any benefits of legal marijuana. Ironically, by vetoing the bill, anti-pot LePage is directly supporting the unregulated market. He probably didn’t intend that. Instead, he is reportedly telling lawmakers to “go back to the drawing board” on the subject of regulating the sale of cannabis.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
LePage is a tool.

Maine Lawmakers Can Save the State’s Marijuana Law


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are returning to Augusta on Monday following Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana.


A two-thirds vote of lawmakers present Monday evening will determine whether or not the veto stands. The bill that establishes rules for the retail sale of recreational marijuana was previously approved with a veto-proof, two-thirds majority in the Senate, but not in the House.


RELATED STORY
Maine Gov. LePage Vetoes Cannabis Legalization at Last Minute

LePage urged lawmakers to go back to the drawing board. He has cited concerns including how the Trump administration is going to treat the federal-state conflict in the proposal.

“If we keep delaying it, the grey market is going to get entrenched.”
Eddie DuGay , medical marijuana consultant
LePage has also said he’d need assurances from the Trump administration before establishing a new industry and regulations. Proponents of legal cannabis, which passed a public referendum a year ago, say it’s time to put a regulatory structure in place.

“If we don’t stem the tide of all the grey market going on in the state, we keep delaying it, the grey market is going to get entrenched,” said Eddie DuGay, a medical marijuana consultant.

Nov. 3 was the last day for LePage to veto bills to regulate the sale of cannabis, and he did.


RELATED STORY
Maine Lawmakers Address Key Issues on Adult-Use Cannabis

The House and Senate had approved a cannabis bill in October after it was proposed by a bipartisan legislative panel. Panel members spent months rewriting the law to allow local communities to opt-in to recreational marijuana sales. Other changes included adding an excise tax to the existing 10 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis.

House Republican Leader Rep. Kenneth Fredette, R-Newport, said on Monday that the Legislature also needs to focus on extending the current moratorium on sales of recreational marijuana. The moratorium is set to expire on Feb. 1, 2018, and Fredette said there’s no way all of the necessary rules will be in place by then.

He has tried unsuccessfully to extend the moratorium to July 1, 2018, or Jan. 1, 2019.


RELATED STORY
Maine Governor Proposes Pushing Back Legal Cannabis Sales Until 2019

“Regardless of what action the Maine Legislature takes today regarding recreational marijuana, it’s simply not realistic to think that the necessary rules will be in place by February 1,” Fredette said. “The Legislature needs to do the responsible thing and extend this moratorium today or as soon as we return for the new session beginning in January.”
 

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