On November 8, 2016, after a very close vote, marijuana was finally legalized in the state of Maine. That puts the state in a group of other 7 states and the District of Columbia which have made cannabis legal for recreational purposes, retail sale, and the taxation which comes with that.  Still having federal laws which prohibit the usage and sale of the substance make the whole situation complex and quite hard to understand on some notes. The last unanimously voted change to the law was the delay of the retail sale of cannabis for February 2018. The main concern for the delay was that the state agencies wouldn’t be able to respond on time to the changes and needed a longer duration to adjust and implement new rules in order to regulate the business niche well in a manner which would benefit the majority of the population.

On another note, many local governments are considering a moratorium on the cannabis sales for some period of time, while others might ban it altogether and become “dry town”, where no marijuana will be sold at all.   At the beginning of the year, Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill, which later passed unanimously through the Senate that closed off a loophole which would potentially allow people under the age of 21 to legally be able to purchase marijuana in Maine.  A person can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis legally. Anything beyond that breaches the law’s limits and would lead to legal consequences. None of that should be a problem for the average marijuana consumer as a single ounce equals to around 60 cigarettes.  There will be two options available for consuming cannabis; either consume it in your home privately or in a state-licensed marijuana social club. Using the substance in public is prohibited and could lead up to a 100$ fine.  Unfortunately, there is nowhere to legally purchase marijuana yet, as the legal sale will be available in February 2018 at earliest, with possible delays.

You probably noticed the paradoxes in the law and the fact that even though the majority voted for approval of the legalization of cannabis in Maine, there are still local governments which will opt in for its ban. Regardless of that, we should be happy with the lift of the ban of marijuana on a global level and hope that will continue throughout the country.

Legal Marijuana in Maine
Maine Legislature
Maine Cannabis Legalization Initiative
Maine Medical Marijuana

Image: Gustavo Frazao/123rf

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