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Sometimes, the legal process of changing laws can be iceberg slow in its progress. Although you know it’s moving, it sometimes seems like it is not at all. There is no question that individuals in Maine who voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2016 are feeling that glacial pace of their state’s legalization at the moment.
Despite voting to legalize recreational cannabis years before other states, residents of Maine are still waiting for their state legislature to pass legalization framework and regulations. In other words, despite the popular support for legalization in Maine, it is still hasn’t happened because lawmakers just can’t seem to get it right.
Today, Monday, June 10th, 2019, citizens of Maine got to witness a major step forward in the legalization process. New suggestions for regulations were passed by the state’s Legislative Council previously, and today, people from Maine had the opportunity to attend a hearing and express their personal opinion on the language of the new rules.
Those proposed regulations will go back to a committee tomorrow, which could vote soon. The hope is that they can pass something before the legislative recess for the summer, which starts on June 19th.
Of course, one of the big players in the state, a company called Wellness Connection, is pitching a fit because the law as it stands will give licenses to state residents first. That means that their company, which isn’t owned by Maine residents, thinks it’s unfair that real people (citizens) get preferential treatment over corporate citizens from out of state.
They have threatened to sue the state, which could potentially slow down legalization. There are, of course, many skilled and capable smaller-scale cannabis producers who could do as good of, if not better of, a job than a massive conglomerate owned in part by people who used to support cannabis prohibition, like scuzzbucket John Boehner, which is also on the board of a major tobacco corporation.
With any luck, Maine lawmakers will get their butts in gear and pass a framework before their recess. That way, by the end of summer (90 days after passing the bill), Maine residents can finally enjoy the safe, legal access they voted for nearly three years ago.
For previous Ladybud articles about Maine, click here.