Cannabis Advocacy Groups in Maine Criticize Rewrite of Voter-Approved Legalization Bill – News

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The Maine Legislature is getting closer to passing a complete legislative rewrite of the voter-approved ballot measure that legalized recreational cannabis in the state, but one of the state’s leading cannabis advocacy groups has criticized the rewrite for straying too far from what voters approved last year. “This [new bill] will only encourage the black market in Maine and is the exact opposite of what the voters of Maine approved,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine.

The voter-approved version of the law created a 10 percent sales tax on cannabis, but the current committee version would increase this to 20 percent by adding a wholesale tax. The new bill would also require cannabis license holders to have lived in Maine for at least two years, but would not limit the total amount of cannabis that can be grown in the state.

One of the most controversial elements of the new law is that towns that wish to allow recreational sales would be required to “opt in” to the legal market. Several other canna-legal states, like nearby Massachusetts, allow municipalities to “opt out” of allowing canna-businesses in their area, but this law would…

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