January 31, 2018, Maine
It’s a common practice worldwide to stall a legislation progress by employing delaying tactics by opposing parties or to use the garb of laws and regulations to hold back voters-approved bills. The same strategy is being played out in the state of Maine where House leader of the GOP, Ken Fredette, is demanding to extend the date of adult-use sales of marijuana until 2019 or until required law provisions are put into place.
In principle, the ban on retail dealing of cannabis is going to end from coming Thursday, but the Pine Tree State hasn’t established a way for cannabis retailers to acquire the needed licensing.
In the meantime, the state senate was quick in accepting the bill of a GOP senator, Roger Katz. The bill calls for the delay of retail sales until June this year. The bill will need further votes from the state senate to get approved.
Its worth mentioning that voter s of the state endorsed the legalization of adult-use cannabis in 2016. Even though the use and possession of adult-use cannabis strains are legal in the state, but Maine haven’t move forward with retail sales of the substance and it’s still deemed illegal.
For nearly a year, the state legislators are trying to amend the voters-approved legislation and putting a regulatory framework of retail sales but they haven’t come forward with a reasonable set of rules. Republican governor of the state has also played a subtle role in this holdup. He himself is not in favor of cannabis legalization and has aired his thoughts publicly several times.
As per their previous commitment, recreational sales had to start from Feb 1 in the state but now it seems very unlikely to happen. A special legislative committee was formed to come up with a set of regulations of retail sales. However, the committee failed to furnish anything even after months of deliberations.
The committee then promised to come up with immediate provisional regulations in order to go ahead with retail sales on the set date. But the provisional bill remained unsuccessful in satisfying the lawmakers sitting on the other side of the aisle.
On the other hand, the Governor unnecessarily wants to involve federal government in the process when it is quite clear that it’s state sole prerogative to look over all the processes regarding legalized cannabis operations. California, the most populous state of the country, is setting an example of how to carry forward legalization without having any federal involvement.
On a rational ground, it is very mind boggling to have legalization in place without allowing retail sales. If people are allowed to consume and possess marijuana then they should also be provided legal avenues to get the stuff. Otherwise, they have to flock towards the black market.
With a moratorium on legal sales, the state is not only encouraging the operations of shady drug dealers but also losing out on considerable revenues of legalized retail sales.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]