Mainers are getting a first look at the state's recreational marijuana use rules. A draft was released this week by the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP), which is part of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The office was created in February.
"We have been working at a breakneck pace in order to make sure these rules are done and done right," said Erik Gundersen, the director of OMP.
In its 73 pages, the preliminary draft of rules covers areas including licensing, age restrictions, sanitary requirements, and general tracking. It also provides requirements for cultivation centers, marijuana stores, and nurseries.
The rules also clarify where marijuana can be consumed.
"All the same laws that pertain to cigarette smoke are going to pertain to marijuana smoke," said Gundersen. "As far as coffee shops are concerned there's nowhere in our law that will allow any type of social club or pot shop where you can actually smoke."
The proposed rules to regulate Maine's cannabis industry were developed with the help of a Colorado consulting firm.
Mainers voted in favor of legalizing marijuana in 2016 but crafting the rules has been a long and sometimes contentious process.
Over the next few weeks, OMP will work on creating a final draft of the rules and will begin a public hearing and public comment phase.
The proposed rule book will need various approvals from the state. If lawmakers approve the final draft before their summer recess, then the state could begin accepting license applications later this year.
The state wants you to weigh in on the draft of rules. Leave your feedback by click here.