The Maine Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee has voted 5-1 to delay the rollout of the social-use provisions of the voter-approved recreational cannabis bill until 2023, the Portland Press Herald reports. The move comes as lawmakers look to appease those members who don’t support measure and due to concerns over being an early adopter of a social-use scheme.
“Other states have wanted to do it, but they still haven’t. We need to get (the bill) passed, then we need to find out what the problems with social clubs might be. (An extension) will give us time to know what we’re doing. I feel that it is imperative that we do the right thing, and we don’t know enough to do the right thing now. This way, we’d have the bill done, our rules made, and then if we want to go ahead with social clubs, we can.” – Sen. Joyce Maker, to the Press Herald
According to the report, when lawmakers failed to reach a two-thirds majority necessary to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the implementation package – which fell just 17 votes short – it was believed the cause was hesitation about the social-use provision.
“I think we really need them – ultimately, people need a place to go – but if this is a part of moving this bill forward, I’m in agreement.” – Rep. Lydia Blume, to the Press Herald
Social-use becoming a hot topic in adult-use legalization. Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission, last month, approved a social-use policy and the rules could be included in the final regulations package, expected in mid-March. Voters in Denver, Colorado approved their own social-use measure last November, which is expected to rollout in July. Last March, Colorado’s Senate passed a measure that allows municipalities to permit social-use sites, clubs, and events; however, that move has not yet been approved by the house. Regulators in Alaska are also considering allowing social-use – but members of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board are split on what would be allowed under the regime.