Tag: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Maine Lawmakers Pass Bill to Implement Marijuana Legalization Initiative

AUGUSTA, ME — The Maine Legislature has passed a bill to fund the implementation of the successful 2016 marijuana legalization initiative and change the agency that will regulate marijuana for adult use.

The Senate on Thursday passed LD 243 unanimously “under the hammer,” without debate or a roll call vote, sending it to Gov. Paul LePage for final approval.

The House passed it “under the hammer” on Wednesday.

LD 243 would transfer the authority to oversee adult-use marijuana from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS).

The Bureau would be responsible for licensing adult-use marijuana businesses and creating and enforcing regulations.

LD 243 also allocates $200,000 to the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation and $1.4 million to DAFS to implement Question 1.

“We hope Gov. LePage will give swift approval to this bill so we can begin to see some meaningful progress on establishing Maine’s adult-use marijuana program,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project and campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “In the meantime, the Legislature should allow Maine’s existing medical marijuana businesses to begin serving adults 21 and older. This approach was successful in Oregon, and it is now being adopted in Nevada. It would work for Maine, as well.”

“Initiating adult sales in existing medical marijuana businesses would allow for a slower rollout and give regulators time to make adjustments. It would immediately generate much-needed tax revenue and provide adults with a safe way to purchase marijuana. Marijuana is a legal product now, and Mainers want it to be sold in licensed stores, not on Craigslist and Facebook,” Boyer added.

Parts of the new law too effect in January, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana is Now Legal in Maine as Question 1 Takes Effect

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine officially takes effect today, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“Maine voters made it clear that it’s time to end the failed and costly policy of punishing adults for their choice to responsibly use marijuana,” said Alysia Melnick, an attorney with the Yes on 1 campaign. “This is a win for personal privacy, personal responsibility, and civil liberties. Now that the law has taken effect, our efforts must turn to the timely and effective implementation of the remaining parts of the law, to ensure that all Maine taxpayers benefit.”

Under Question 1, which voters approved in November and Gov. Paul LePage certified on December 31, adults 21 years of age and older can legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, grow up to six flowering marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants, and possess the marijuana harvested from those plants inside their residence. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public and to drive while impaired by marijuana. The law will not affect employers’ drug-testing policies or their rights to prohibit marijuana use by employees.

The Legislature is in the process of establishing a regulated system of marijuana cultivation and sales, which is currently scheduled to be up and running by February 1, 2018.

“Now that adults can legally possess and consume marijuana, they need places where they can legally purchase it,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “The next step is to take the criminal element out of production and sales. We are hopeful that the legislature will respect the will of the voters and work quickly to establish a sensible regulatory system.”

Marijuana is now legal for adults in eight states, including Maine, as well as in the District of Columbia. The measures approved by voters last November in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada took effect on November 9, December 15, and January 1, respectively. The laws in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. were adopted in November 2014, and the laws in Colorado and Washington were adopted in 2012.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana Possession Officially Becomes Legal in Maine on Monday

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to legalize marijuana in Maine will officially take effect on Monday, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“The era of marijuana prohibition in Maine is finally coming to an end,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “Responsible adult marijuana consumers will no longer be harassed and treated like criminals. Police will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes rather than punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.”

Under Question 1, which voters approved in November and Gov. Paul LePage certified on December 31, adults 21 years of age and older can legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, grow up to six flowering marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants, and possess the marijuana harvested from those plants inside their residence. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public and to drive while impaired by marijuana. The law will not affect employers’ drug-testing policies or their rights to prohibit marijuana use by employees.

The Legislature is in the process of establishing a regulated system of marijuana cultivation and sales, which is currently scheduled to be up and running by February 1, 2018.

“Now that adults can legally possess and consume marijuana, they need places where they can legally purchase it,” Boyer said. “The next step is to take the criminal element out of production and sales. We are hopeful that the Legislature will respect the will of the voters and work diligently to establish a sensible regulatory system.”

Marijuana is now legal for adults in eight states, including Maine, as well as in the District of Columbia. The measures approved by voters last November in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada took effect on November 9, December 15, and January 1, respectively. The laws in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. were adopted in November 2014, and the laws in Colorado and Washington were adopted in 2012.

“Every time a state makes marijuana legal for adults, support for enacting similar laws grows in other states,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which backed the Question 1 campaign in Maine, as well as the successful campaigns in Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Nevada. “Legislatures around the country are considering proposals to regulate marijuana like alcohol this year. Why cling to a policy as wasteful, problematic, and antiquated as marijuana prohibition while your neighbors are moving forward with more sensible policies?”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Bill Filed to Delay Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Law

AUGUSTA, ME — Bipartisan lawmakers in Maine have filed a bill that would delay most of the implementation of Question 1, which legalized marijuana in Maine, by over a year.

The bill, House Bill 88, was introduced Wednesday by state Rep.  Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) and Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Winterport).

The proposal would delay the implementation of most of Question 1 until February 1, 2018, including establishing a framework for a retail cannabis industry in the state, licencing of dispensaries, and possession of marijuana edibles by adults.

Proponents of the measure, which was approved by voters in November and successfully defeated a recount challenge by opponents, say lawmakers are “thumbing their nose at voters” by proposing the delay.

“Question 1 has nine months built-in to give regulators the time they need to craft responsible rules for legal marijuana sales. These politicians are clearly thumbing their nose at voters by proposing Maine delay this process before it has even started,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Personal possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana will still become legal for adults later this month, but the bill prohibits adults from possessing edibles until February 2018.

As of January 30, adults 21 or older will be allowed to:

  • Use, possess or transport up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana;
  • Transfer, without remuneration, up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana and up to 6 immature plants or seedlings to a person who is 21 years of age or older;
  • Possess, grow, cultivate or transport up to 6 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings and possess all of the marijuana produced by the plants at the person’s residence;
  • Consume marijuana in a private residence.

The bill also makes the possession of marijuana by a minor a crime, unless they are authorized to possess marijuana for medical use.

HB 88, which can be read in full here, was filed as an emergency bill which would allow it go into effect immediately if at least two-thirds of the members in each chamber of the legislature approve it.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine’s Marijuana Legalization Law Takes Effect January 30

It’s official: Limited possession and cultivation of marijuana will become legal for adults in Maine on January 30 now that a recount on the vote has been halted and Governor Paul LePage has signed the results of the election.

One of the measure’s leading supporters, former State Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland), made the announcement in a Facebook post Tuesday morning.

“The effective date possession and home cultivation becomes legal in Maine is January 30th,” Russell said. “That’s a Monday.”

Once the measure takes effect on January 30, possession and use of up to two and a half ounces of marijuana will become legal for adults 21 and older.  Regulated recreational sales of marijuana to adults are expected to begin in about a year, with sales subject to a 10 percent sales tax.

Speaking on Bangor’s conservative talk radio station WVOM Tuesday, LePage confirmed that he signed the proclamation of the election, but called on the state legislature to place a moratorium on marijuana sales until they can work out all the details of legalization, including making a determination if the state’s medical marijuana program is still needed.

LePage also hinted that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, which is charged with overseeing the state’s recreational marijuana program under the text of Question 1, can not begin the regulatory process until the legislature provides funding for the agency to do so.

“There’s nothing I can do until the Legislature gives me money to set up the infrastructure,” LePage said, adding that he believed a moratorium on all marijuana sales would also be appropriate so lawmakers could determine if Maine’s medical marijuana laws would still be necessary once recreational marijuana is being sold over the counter.

“That concerns me,” LePage said, pointing to Colorado where he claims residents have been applying for medical marijuana cards in order to avoid paying sales tax on recreational marijuana, which the governor believes is only purchased by tourists.

“So now they are collecting just a fraction of the taxes that they thought they would,” LePage said. “We really need to sit down and look at this and if we are going to tax, let’s tax it, and if we are not going to tax it, let’s not even bother doing it.”

This isn’t the first time the outspoken governor has called for an end to the state’s medical marijuana program. In December, LePage said the state should “get rid” of the medical marijuana program.

The full text of Question 1 can be found here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Marijuana Legalization Law Takes Effect January 30

Adults in Maine will be able to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis without penalty beginning January 30, 2017.

Governor Paul LePage on Saturday certified the results of Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act. The voter-initiated measure narrowly passed on Election Day and was subject to a partial recount. By law, the measure becomes law 30 days after the Governor has affirmed the results.

At that time, adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program will be able to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis and/or the total harvest produced by six mature plants.

Maine will become the eighth US state to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for adults who possess marijuana for their own personal use.

Separate provisions in the measure also establish regulations for the commercial cultivation, retail sale, and social use of cannabis. Regulations governing marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017. However, the Governor has called on lawmakers to push back this timeline. Massachusetts lawmakers last week enacted a similar delay to their retail sales program.

Governor LePage has been a strong opponent of implementing Question 1, stating “If there was ever a bill that the legislature should just kibosh, that’s it.” He has also suggested increasing the retail sales tax rates associated with the measure, as well as abolishing the state’s medical cannabis program, which has been in place since 1999 — positions that NORML opposes.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine: Recount Effort Halted, Question 1 Victory Stands

The group opposing Maine’s marijuana legalization initiative has withdrawn its recount effort.

Last month, representatives from ‘No on 1’ requested a recount of the vote totals specific to Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act. On Saturday, the campaign conceded that the recount would not impact the Election Day result, which estimated Question 1 winning by slightly over 4,000 votes.

The measure is now expected to be enacted 30 days after Gov. Paul LePage affirms the result.

The Act permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to possess personal use quantities of marijuana (up to two and one-half ounces and/or the total harvest produced by six plants).

The measure also establishes regulations for the commercial cultivation and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Regulations governing marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017.

Speaking live on WGAN radio last week, Gov. LePage criticized the measure, stating, “If there was ever a bill that the legislature should just kibosh, that’s it.”

The Governor further suggested increasing the retail sales tax rates associated with the measure, as well as abolishing the state’s medical cannabis program, which has been in place since 1999.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana Legalization Opponents Drop Maine Question 1 Recount

AUGUSTA, ME — Opponents of Maine’s Question 1, which was narrowly approved by voters in November, dropped their recount request on Saturday.  With the recount challenge dropped, marijuana will become legal for adults 21 or older to possess early next year.

The recount had been underway for two weeks, with no significant change to the vote tally for either side.  Had opponents not withdrawn their request, the recount could have taken up to a month to complete, leaving taxpayers on the hook for an estimated $500,000.  Because the recount was ended early, the final price tag for the recount is expected to be much less.

Supporters from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) can now focus their attention on working towards implementing the measure.

“After counting nearly a third of all the ballots in Maine, it was clear that the recount was not going to change the result,” wrote David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes on 1, in an email to supporters Saturday.  “We are grateful that the No on 1 campaign has conceded and look forward to working together towards a successful implementation of Question 1.”

Maine was one of four states where voters approved measures to legalize the adult, recreational use of marijuana on election day.  Maine voters approved Question 1 by less than a one percent margin.  Unofficial results of the election from the Secretary of State’s office show 381,692 “yes” votes to 377,619 “no” votes, a margin of only 4,073 votes.

Question 1 will become law 30 days after the Governor proclaims the result of the election.  First, however, the results of the measure need to be certified by the Secretary of State.  The Governor then has 10 calendar days to proclaim the election results.

Once the measure takes effect, possession and use of up to two and a half ounces of marijuana will become legal for adults 21 and older.

State regulated recreational sales of marijuana to adults are expected to follow in about a year, with sales subject to a 10 percent sales tax.

The full text of Question 1 can be found here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Governor Wants to ‘Get Rid’ of Medical Marijuana Program

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R). LePage said after the election that he intends to ask President-elect Donald Trump to enforce federal marijuana laws in Maine to prevent the state from legalizing marijuana.

Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage has never been a fan of marijuana reform, and on Thursday he suggested that the state’s medical marijuana program should be eliminated now that voters have approved legalizing recreational marijuana.

Speaking on the Portland’s WGAN on Thursday, LePage called for the end of the state’s medical marijuana program once recreational ma.

In November, Maine voters approved Question 1, legalizing recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 or older, by a slim margin of just over 4,000 votes.  Implementation of the referendum is currently on hold, however, as a recount on the vote is ongoing.

“I think we gotta [sic] get rid of medical marijuana.  If you’ve got recreational marijuana, it’s over the counter. Why do we need medical marijuana?” the Governor asked, despite having just called on the state legislature to overturn the will of the voters and put the “kibosh” on the legalization.  “You don’t need a prescription to buy Bayer aspirin, so why do you need a prescription to buy recreational marijuana or medical marijuana?”

Outgoing State Representative Diane Russel (D-Portland) has been one of the Maine’s leading marijuana advocates in her eight years as a state representative.  As a legislator, she supported medical marijuana, filed legalization bills, and was one of the leading proponents for the Yes on 1 campaign this year.

“As the long-time leader of the movement to end marijuana prohibition,  in Maine, I stand in strong support of continuing the medical marijuana program once adult use is legal,” Russel said in response to LePage’s statement.  “It is critical that key medical strains continue to be cultivated by people who understand the botany science and sold by people who understand how each strain affects individual patients. If there is anything we should be eliminating from the medical marijuana program, it is the onerous medical tax on patients.”

Maine voters first authorized medical marijuana in 1999.  Ten years later, Maine voters approved a measure to expand the state’s medical marijuana program to allow dispensaries.

The full interview with Gov. LePage can be found here.  Discussion on marijuana begins at the 9:20 mark.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Marijuana Legalization Recount Update: No Significant Change; ‘Colossal’ Waste of Time & Money, Supporters Say

AUGUSTA, ME — As the recount on Maine’s Question 1 enters it’s seventh day with no significant changes to the election results, supporters of the voter-approved measure are once again calling on opponents to drop the recount, calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

So far, the recount has not uncovered any evidence of election fraud, or any indication that continuing to recount will make any meaningful difference in the election total.

As of Tuesday morning, over 150,000 ballots, representing approximately 20% of the total votes cast, have been counted, and there is no “statistically significant change” in the election result, according to supporters working on the recount. The Secretary of State’s Office will not release actual vote totals until the recount is over.

In an email to supporters Tuesday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the key driving force behind the successful measure, called the recount a “colossal” waste of time and money time.

“Every day that No on 1 extends their recount, they are deliberately choosing to create a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money, and of state employees’ time,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “No on 1 is forcing our campaign to spend money on a recount, rather than on working toward implementation of Question 1.

Recounts in Maine are conducted by hand, with 3-member recount teams made up of one volunteer from each side and a state employee.  The No on 1 campaign, who pushed for the recount, have been criticized for not providing enough volunteers each day of the recount.

“Our opponents stubbornly refuse to stop this wasteful recount and concede defeat. They are further slowing down the process by refusing to show up on time with a full roster of counters,” Boyer said.

Maine was one of four states where voters approved measures to legalize the adult, recreational use of marijuana on election day.  Prohibitionist opponents of Qustion 1 requested the recount after unofficial results showed the question passed by only 4,073 votes(381,692 to 377,619) — a margin of less than 1 percent.

Maine has never had a statewide recount of a ballot initiative that included every ballot, as those requesting the recounts have withdrawn their requests prior to the recounts being completed.  The most recent statewide recount in Maine was 2010’s Oxford Casino initiative, when the opposition campaign demanded a recount. The Yes campaign won the original vote by 4,723 votes, and after roughly 20% of the recount was complete, the margin of victory actually increased.  Opponents withdrew the recount request after about 25% of the recount was complete.

Unless the results of the vote are overturned by the recount, possession and use of up to two and a half ounces of marijuana will become legal for adults 21 and older in Maine early next year. Successful referendums in Maine take effect 30 days after the the state certifies the election results and the governor proclaims the results valid, but that can’t happen for Question 1 until the recount is completed.

State regulated recreational sales of marijuana to adults are expected to follow in about a year, with sales subject to a 10 percent sales tax.

The full text of Question 1 can be found here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.