Monday, 19 February 2018 16:55

Should state cap marijuana cultivation? Featured

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AUGUSTA - How much marijuana is enough to meet the demand of the legal market?

That's a question facing lawmakers as they deal with structuring the laws for retail sales of recreational marijuana. The measure legalizing marijuana sales limited the total statewide crop size to about 18 acres. Currently, legislators are working

on a bill that would allow unlimited growth.

"One of our biggest concerns is that they're not talking about how much adult cannabis will be produced," said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine.

For the past 15 months, members of the legislature's Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee have spent hundreds of hours debating what should be in an omnibus marijuana law.

"The issue of residency, how the market will roll out, and what's the role of municipalities in the decision-making for licenses. Those are the key issues," said MLIC member Sen. Mark Dion, (D) - Portland.

Mccarrier said he believes without limits, too much marijuana will be harvested fueling black market sales.

"Meaning that these large commercial enterprises will be overproducing the cannabis. And they they will have to divert to a non-regulated, non-taxed market," McCarrier said during a recent interview.

Some marijuana advocates believe unlimited growth allows the market to thrive through competition. Mccarrier said, however, any cap number could always be adjusted depending on the demand. Other states already have addressed the over-

cultivation issue.

"That's what we're seeing in Oregon and Colorado right now. The way those states have suggested fixing it is to have a cap on licensure and a cap on the amount of cannabis being cultivated," McCarrier said.

It's possible a comprehensive marijuana bill could be presented to the legislature by the end of March.

"Acquiring a conditional license from the state will be pretty straight forward. But the voters declared in the referendum that they wanted their local government to have final say.," Dion said.

 

TJ Tremble

Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and three grandchildren.