Parts of Maine’s cannabis legalization initiative take effect today as adults over 21 can legally possess, and transfer without remuneration, up to 2.5 ounces of flower, have six mature plants growing in their home and six seedlings, for a total of 12 plants.
The implementation of the program’s sales provisions, however, have already been delayed three months by lawmakers, as both houses of the state’s legislature passed a bill last week that delays the rollout for 90 days. The law also provides for driver license suspension for those found using the drug while driving.
The voter-enacted law also allows for the creation of cannabis social clubs, but those too are delayed while the state develops rules and regulations under which the program will operate. Under the adult-use regime, getting caught using cannabis in public carries a $100 fine.
According to a Portland Press Herald report, about two dozen municipalities have discussed either moratoriums or bans on cannabis businesses within their city limits. The Maine Municipal Association has advised cities and towns to adopt 180-day moratoriums until the state completes the rule-making process and local officials have an opportunity to develop their own rules.
The ballot question narrowly passed in the state, despite vocal opposition from Republican Gov. Paul LePage, with a margin of 4,402 votes – or less than 1 percent.