AUGUSTA – Just how much should the state tax recreational marijuana?
That’s among the tougher questions the legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee is dealing with this summer.
It’s legal to possess and grow your own pot in Maine right now, but it’s still against the law to sell it. However, the committee members are trying to write rules, regulations and laws to cover legal retail sales, which are scheduled to begin in February 2018.
During the past several weeks various legislators have bounced around various proposed sales tax amounts, even up to a 20 percent tax.
Paul McCarrier from Legalize Maine said “There is a big push on by some members of the committee to push the tax higher than 10 percent, unfortunately, that will only encourage the illicit market. It will make so that government will not earn as much tax as expected. Ten percent tax, as the voters approved, is the sweet spot.”
The committee has yet to settle on a sales tax amount, which it would then recommend to the full legislature.
Monday, the committee spent several hours discussing how employers could deal with employees under the influence of marijuana. Although, the committee heard several recommendations from a State Department of Labor official, no action was taken.