The State of Maine Unveils a Draft Involving Regulations for Recreational Marijuana Market

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Slated regulations look into every aspect of the marijuana market in Maine. Read below to get a gist. 


 

With residents of Maine voting for the legalization of Marijuana two years back, a draft of regulations prepared by a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski of Colorado, for the state released on Monday detailing how the new recreational marijuana market will shape up.

Prodded by public interest, the state launched the regulations to the scrutiny of the public which will be implemented only after general consensus and legislature approval.

The regulations entail on the various aspects of the marijuana market, from license procurement, manufacture, to retail, etc. Erik Gundersen, Director of the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy invites people to review the stipulated rules and offer their genuine feedback.

Regulations for Applying

Under the draft’s regulations, new and old growers along with retailers need to procure state license before operating their venture in the Maine recreational market. At first, the concerned should obtain a state conditional license, which, after the city’s municipal approval, will be commissioned to a one-year active license by the state.

A period of 90 days will follow after the initial application during which the state will review and look through the criminal records of the applicant in the past. While the state may confer the license, getting approval from individual city council or municipal can be a challenging task.

For the state of Maine, the draft states that the applicants must be 21 years of age and a resident of Maine with their business venture having a majority of shares or equity in the interest of the state. Up to June 2021, the state looks to grant licenses only to those who have resided in Maine and filed income tax returns there for the past 4 years or so.

State employees, officers involved with law enforcement or anyone with felony sentence for any drug-related violation in the last 10 years will not be permitted to obtain a license.

However, convictions for marijuana which are no longer illegal under today’s law will not be considered. The state can also refuse license on the grounds of convictions like scam, violence, or driving under influence.

Cultivation License

The five tiers of cultivation licenses stipulated by the state which are; nursery level with no more than 1,000 square feet of grow able area, boutique range within 500 square feet or 30 mature plants, and grow facilities with areas of 2,000, 7,000 and 20,000 square feet respectively.

The application and license fee will vary with each tier. Further testing rules for the plant products are to be unveiled later.

Product Manufacture

Every legal marijuana manufacturer needs to get the certification from an industrial hygienist or engineer who inspects if every aspect of safety and proficiency is met in the given facility. This could be in terms of storage, production, electrical, fire safety, and exhaust system, especially, when using hazardous components like butane, propane, acetone, and others, etc.

Cannabis producers are strictly proscribed to advertising marijuana products to the interest or likes of children, especially in terms of product design.

The drafts stipulate that any marijuana product should not contain more than 100 milligrams of THC, the component identified for causing euphoric high, with no single serving amounting to more than 10 milligrams. Also, a sum of $250 is levied upon the manufacturers as applicant fee along with an annual license fee of $2,500.

Marketing

Stores will not be allowed to market more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana, five grams of concentrate or edible marijuana with more than five grams of total THC content to a customer in a day.

The functioning of the stores is also limited, with stores permitted to open only after 7 am and close before 9 pm. The same applicant fee and annual license fee, levied upon the manufacturer, is applicable for retailers, while the transfer of ownership could cost another fee of $250.

Apart from meeting the required electrical and safety codes stipulated by the state and federal systems, all licensed retailers need to have proper door-window locks, followed by an alarm system coupled with surveillance cameras to completely monitor and secure the shop all around the clock.

Outdoor units with plant produce need to have proper enclosures in the form of fencing wall with heights of up to 8ft or 6ft, topped with barbed wire.

The draft also mentions the possible cases of violations which will allow for the state to investigate, such as failure to follow the stipulated laws or codes or pay taxes, lack of submitting proper inventory records in the state’ ‘track and trace’ system or making unauthorized sales, etc.

In such cases, the state has the right to suspend, fine or cancel the license of the involved and even seize the retail. Fines can range from $10,000 in case of small infarctions to $100,000 for major ones like illegal sales etc.

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