Maine Legalization Panel Makes Concession, Votes to Delay Social Cannabis Clubs Until 2023

Maine Legalization Panel Makes Concession, Votes to Delay Social Cannabis Clubs Until 2023

The move is intended to shore up political support for implementing recreational marijuana rules, but advocates say it ignores the will of Maine voters.

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January 17, 2018

In their first major concession to Gov. Paul LePage, lawmakers crafting rules for Maine’s legal adult-use cannabis industry agreed Tuesday to ban social clubs until 2023.

The Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee voted 5-1 to delay social club licensing for five years in hopes of pacifying those who last year voted against a bill that would have launched the state’s recreational market. Committee members said they don’t want Maine to lead the way on social clubs, and would prefer to learn from the experience of other states before implementing their own rules.

“Other states have wanted to do it, but they still haven’t,” said Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Calais. “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.”

A final vote on the legislation is not expected before February.

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Top image: © Carsten Reisinger | Adobe Stock