AUGUSTA – Mainers will have to wait a little longer than expected to buy and sell retail marijuana.
Lawmakers said regulations won’t be in place for the original February deadline.
A special legislative committee tasked with implementing legalization has continued working through the summer, but they said it’s a big task and one they’d rather get it right, than rush to get done.
Senator Roger Katz is one of the committee chairs. He stated they have to build an entirely new structure to regulate and oversee what’s been an illegal industry up until now.
Katz added “There’s real black market and gray market issues going on today as we speak and we want to get this legal market up and growing to encourage people if they do want to buy marijuana, to do it in a legal way and not on the black market.”
The committee is working on drafting a bill for a public hearing at the end of September, and then hoping to present it to the full legislature in October, if lawmakers agree to come back for a special session.
This bill will be labeled emergency legislation so it can take effect right away. That means it will need a 2/3 majority vote to pass.