New law gives legislature final say on medical marijuana rules
A new law in Maine is now in effect that prevents the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy from enacting new medical marijuana policies without prior approval from the Maine legislature. The legislature has now given themselves the power to accept, reject, or change proposed rules before they go into effect. Normally, state agencies have the power to create and change their own regulations.
In 2021 the Office of Marijuana Policy tried to introduced rules to set up a seed-to-sale tracking system for medical marijuana products, similar to what is required for adult-use cannabis. Officials were concerned that without a seed-to-sale tracking system the medical marijuana market in Maine could be ill-equipped to detect underground illicit activity. The medical marijuana market in Maine also does not require testing of cannabis products. Adult-use cannabis is subject to testing requirements.
Advocates claim that the Office of Marijuana Policy continues to introduce harmful policies that would create new restrictions and make the industry more burdensome for small businesses to operate. Members of the Maine legislature have agreed to pass this bill to protect the small medical marijuana operators from the new policies that would hurt their businesses. According to the Director of the Office of Marijuana Policy he is worried about the lack of transparency and accountability in the medical marijuana industry.