Maine Committee Votes to Strike Cannabis Social Club Language from Implementation Bill

The Maine committee tasked with implementing the state’s voter-approved recreational cannabis law voted 10-4 to remove all references to social use licensing from the legislature’s proposed regulations for the program, the Portland Press-Herald reports. The vote is not binding; however, a final committee vote on the proposals will be held tomorrow.

Social-use clubs were included in the ballot measure approved by voters in 2016. The committee voted 5-1 last month to delay the social use provisions of the law until 2023.

“No other state has licensed social clubs. This is clearly the law, but it passed by the narrowest of margins. We ought to go slow and be conservative.” — Sen. Roger Katz, co-chairman of the implementation committee, to the Press-Herald

The committee also rejected a plan to share cannabis tax revenues with municipalities friendly to the cannabis industry. The plan would have given localities that host cultivation, processing, or retail dispensaries a cut of the tax proceeds. The proposal was included in the legislation vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage last November. The new proposal included language that would have allowed municipal governments to enact fees for canna-businesses that would cover any cost increases to the town or city – but that was also voted down by the committee who feared Republicans would reject a bill including fee increases.

Recreational cannabis sales in Maine are supposed to commence July 1.

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