The Maine State Capitol Building in Augusta, Maine.

Tony Webster

Maine GOP Leaders Seek to Extend Adult-Use Moratorium into 2019

Republican lawmakers in Maine are attempting to push back the rollout of the adult-use regime until Jan. 2019 after already delaying the market launch three months following the referendum’s passage last November, the Portland Press Herald reports. The move is backed by House Republican Leader Ken Fredette and Gov. Paul LePage.

According to the report, the suggestion has irked several members on the legislative committee that has been crating the rules in preparation for the Feb. 2018 start date; but Fredette said lawmakers shouldn’t be expected to rush a 76-page bill that passed by a small majority. He said extending the moratorium “is the least lousy option.”

“I’m not saying we’re not going to do this, but we need to slow it down and do it right,” he said in the report. “You can’t just plop a bill this big down and say pass it right now or we’ll have chaos. That is not how you make laws here in Maine.”

Leaders of the committee, Republican Sen. Roger Katz and Democrat Rep. Teresa Pierce, criticized both Fredette and LePage for not being more active in the rule-making process and that state agencies they invited to work with them on the rules had not provided any assistance.

“The 11th-hour attempt to wreak havoc is obstructionism for no good reason,” Katz told the Herald. “Their unwillingness to problem-solve is irresponsible to the voters, the businesses and the communities of Maine.”

Even if lawmakers pass Fredette’s moratorium, Maine residents can still cultivate up to six mature plants and possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis for personal use.

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