Gov. Janet Mills signed a marijuana rules bill Thursday that puts Maine on track to launch recreational sales in March, 2½ years after voters approved legalization at the ballot box.
The governor endorsed regulations that spell out how Mainers can grow, buy, and sell marijuana without a public bill-signing ceremony. The rules, which go into effect in September, make Maine the eighth state in the nation to have a clear path to a fully legal commercial adult-use cannabis market.
“Over the course of the last several months, my administration has worked quickly to implement the law regarding Maine’s adult-use recreational marijuana market as Maine voters asked the state to do 2½ years ago,” Mills said. “The rule development demonstrates what can be accomplished when state government works with lawmakers, industry stakeholders and the public to accomplish a shared goal.”
“With this law, we are one step closer to honoring the will of Maine voters,” Mills said.
The law will take effect 90 days from when the Legislature adjourned on June 20.
But the state regulations are not the only rules that will apply to Maine adult-use marijuana businesses. The recreational law adopted last year allows cities and towns to decide if they will opt into the market, and set local rules. So far, only about 15 of Maine’s 455 municipalities have opted in.
The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy worked with seven different state agencies, the growing marijuana industry and two different nationally known cannabis consultants, Freedman and Koski of Colorado and BOTEC Analysis of Los Angeles, to develop the adult-use rules.
“The Office of Marijuana Policy has set several ambitious timelines since being established in February, and we are proud to have been able to meet all of them,” said Erik Gundersen, director of the Office of Marijuana Policy.