PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The potential statewide moratorium proposed Wednesday would force people who want to open cannabis-based businesses to wait until that period is over before setting up shop.
Medical cannabis caregivers said Wednesday that this could have serious business impacts on the state, as well as impacts on those who rely on the drug to treat pain or other medical conditions.
Glenn Peterson, founder of Canuvo, a medical marijuana dispensary in Biddeford, said that people who only want or need a small, regulated dose of a specific strain of cannabis may resort to the black market to get the drug.
"It's unregulated. It's not inspected, and they will be the ones who serve the citizens of Maine, and the citizens deserve better," said Peterson.
Peterson said legislators are not allowed to consider means of regulations during the nine-month or more moratorium, which he believes is wasted time.
"There's a lot of work to do, and if we just started now, we might get done in nine months or a year, but to put it off for a year before we even think about starting is disingenuous," said Peterson.
An attorney who helps people set up their marijuana-related businesses, Tammie Snow, said that some of her clients have leased spaces and will have to pay for space that they cannot make any revenue from.
"Here we are as a state that needs business. We need entrepreneurs. We need money coming in. We're a small business state. This creates small business for our state, so it doesn't make any sense to me why we're delaying this," said Snow.
Both agree that this nine-month period could be used productively.