Maine’s Recreational Cannabis Market Set To Launch This Year

The Office of Marijuana Policy must draft rules for a vote by June

A consultant is expected to submit a first draft of proposed adult-use marijuana rules to the state Office of Marijuana Policy on Thursday, putting Maine back on track to open its recreational market by year’s end, state officials say. 

“We are working incredibly hard to get this thing rolled out,” said Erik Gundersen, director of the new Office of Marijuana Policy, on Wednesday. “There are people in my office that are working, no lie, seven days a week to make sure we can get this adult-use industry rolled out in 2019.” 

The Colorado consulting firm Freedman & Koski was tapped in February to write rules governing how Maine will license and regulate its adult-use market. The regulations will codify the legislative rewrite of a 2016 legalization referendum and flesh out areas that lawmakers left to rulemaking. 

To launch in 2019, the Office of Marijuana Policy must shop its draft rules around to key state agencies, including agriculture, labor and public safety, for review and revision before referral to lawmakers in May for a legislative vote that must be held before the session ends in June. 

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