Maine legislators passed a bill on Tuesday with sweeping reforms for medical and adult-use cannabis laws in the state, the Press Herald reports. The bill is primarily focused on reforming Maine’s medical marijuana “caregiver” system — if passed, the bill would close some loopholes, give caregivers more freedom with their business, and give municipalities the ability to shut out the industry if they so desire.
The original bill left committee in March and, after passing the legislature, was vetoed by Maine Governor Paul LePage. Several amendments have since been made. Most notably, state Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, added an amendment allowing towns to shut down caregiver shops operating without explicit permission. Additionally, the bill would lift limits on the number of patients per caregiver, allow caregivers to sell up to 30 percent of each harvest to other caregivers and dispensaries, and open up caregivers to hiring more than one worker.
While most of the changes should give caregivers a better competitive chance as businesses, there are other sections of the bill that will give the state more oversight of the industry with unannounced inspections and seed-to-sale tracking.
The bill now sits again on Gov. LePage’s desk. The governor has ten days to decide whether to sign the bill into law or veto. After ten days, the bill will pass into law without the governor’s signature. LePage, who has a long history of being anti-cannabis, has yet to make any announcement of his plans or issue a statement about his position.