By Derrick Stanley
Medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine are pushing state lawmakers to allow them to open up recreational sales before those sales are set to begin next year, as it was done in both Oregon and Colorado.
Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine, wants to ensure that both dispensaries and caregivers would be able to sell products to anyone over the age of 21 while the state develops the rules and regulations for its program making adult recreational use legal.
Two bills have been introduced in the state's legislature that would allow dispensaries to begin recreational sales early. The “Act to Clarify Certain Provisions of the Marijuana Legalization Act and To Deter the Use of Marijuana by Minors” (LD.1448) was introduced by Republican Matthew Harrington as emergency legislation, while LD.1491, “An Act to Provide for Safety, Quality and Transparency in the Retail Marijuana Industry” was introduced by Republican Sen. Roger Katz. The bills have been sent to the Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee, which Katz chairs.
A third bill (LD.1499) was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Troy Jackson. It would allow “provisional” licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries to sell marijuana to adults while the state develops regulations.