Almost three years after Maine voters approved legal adult-use marijuana, the proposed rules for that industry are expected to go before the Legislature as early as next week.
The public comment period for the proposed rules is scheduled to end Sunday at 5 p.m.
“We expect to submit the rules that we have provisionally adopted to the executive director of the Legislature some time next week,” said David Heidrich, director of communications and senior policy adviser at the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, which oversees the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy.
He said that if everything goes through as planned, the rules will get to the governor for approval before the Legislature adjourns its first regular session on or about June 19. If the rules are approved, they will go into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.
Heidrich said the Office of Marijuana Policy, which was formed in February, has been working quickly to get the rules written and comments considered. But the move to the Legislature comes 2 1/2 years after voter approval in November 2016.
“The bill was rewritten two times by the Maine Legislature and vetoed two times by the former governor,” he said about why it took so long to move the process ahead.
The state got back on track with efforts to create a framework for the recreational marijuana market last May, after lawmakers overrode Gov. Paul LePage’s veto.
The Office of Marijuana Policy issued draft rules April 22. It closed the first round of informal public comments April 26. Those comments and their resolutions can be seen on the office’s website.