Cannabis Today BDN Blog

Cannabis in Maine

By Becky DeKeuster

2016 is shaping up to be a breakout year for cannabis. At least five states, perhaps more, will likely join the ranks of the legal adult use states; a few others may be added to the roster of medical use states, including Missouri and Utah. Cannatech companies will continue to shoulder their way into the mainstream. And mainstream media will continue its crush-like obsession with the plant—as I write this paragraph, one popular cable channel has touted its latest feature on the industry twice in the same commercial break.

Here in Maine, we can predict three major developments:

First, Maine’s legalization bill will most likely make the ballot, and if so it will pass with between 55 and 60 percent of the vote. With 10 days left to collect, the buffer for duplicates and other rejected signatures should be comfortable enough to ensure the petition’s approval. According to campaign director David Boyer, organizers have collected more than 90,000 signatures, with signees from every one of Maine’s 450 districts.

The November “no” votes will come from a group of unlikely bedfellows—those who truly fear the potential social ills of a legalized landscape (including that it will somehow damage or destroy the medical use program), and those who are making a comfortable living in the current grey zone of quasi-acceptance without regulation or taxation.

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