Maine's Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational purposes has now been legal in the State of Maine for three weeks. The world as we know it seems unchanged. This, of course, follows the passage of last year’s Question #1 ballot initiative that sought to legalize the use of marijuana and was ultimately successful at the ballot box. Differences of opinion between various legislative factions and Governor Paul LePage over which bureaucratic agency should oversee eventual permitting for the commercial sale of marijuana also led to the late January passage of an emergency bill to make technical changes to the ballot initiative.

The passage of Question #1 led Maine’s 186-member legislature to respectively introduce roughly 70 individual pieces of legislation that would seek to impact the State’s relationship with marijuana in any number of ways. To best deal with this slew of bills that would otherwise be referred to several legislative committees, but chief among them the Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, legislative leadership last month agreed to the creation of a Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation. This temporary, session-only committee will take up these bills in public hearing and continue to work them over the course of the 1st Regular Session of the 128th Legislature, which is likely to adjourn in June.

The Joint Select Committee has scheduled a public forum on the implementation of marijuana legalization that will be held Tuesday, February 28 at 1:00 P.M. in Room 216 of the Cross Office Building.