The state of Maine is trying to update and expand its legal marijuana markets. Recently, the state issued a call for proposals in an attempt to find a cannabis consultant who can help lawmakers establish and implement a new set of regulations and rules. The move is the latest development in the state’s evolving legal cannabis programs.
Marijuana Consultant Needed
Earlier this week, authorities in Maine published their call for proposals. As a result, the state is now accepting applications from interested cannabis consultants.
In particular, the state is seeking help in the process of writing and implementing new regulations for legal cannabis. This includes both its new recreational cannabis program as well as its recently expanded medical marijuana program.
The call for proposals was published by Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The agency said it is looking for applicants that have a proven track record of crafting effective rules for legal cannabis.
Similarly, the agency is also looking for applicants that can offer the most cost-effective solutions.
Ultimately, officials said they will respond most favorably to applicants who can demonstrate an ability to craft a framework that complies with all legislative requirements while also opening the door to a positive economic impact.
Applicants have until November 1 to submit proposals. From there, state authorities will review all materials and make their decision about who to work with. At this time, it is unclear exactly when officials plan to award contracts.
Moving a Step Closer to Recreational Retail?
This week’s call for proposals represents the latest development in Maine’s evolving cannabis laws. Over the last couple of years, marijuana has been a relatively pressing issue, at times leading to controversy.
Most immediately, the state is still working to roll out a recreational retail program that has so far seen multiple delays.
Voters in the state approved recreational cannabis back in 2016—but not without a fair amount of drama. Immediately following the vote, opponents of legalization called for a recount, claiming that it was too close to call.
Ultimately, the dispute was settled. And although it won by a very narrow margin, the legalization of recreational cannabis was officially approved in 2016.
As a result of the vote, it became legal to possess and grow weed in Maine at the beginning of 2017. More specifically, it became legal for adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Similarly, it became legal for adults to consume weed privately, and to gift up to 2.5 ounces of weed to another adult.
But there was no retail system. In fact, the state still does not have a way for adults to legally purchase recreational weed. This is exactly what the new call for proposals hopes to address.
Before the state can launch retail sales, it needs to finalize a workable regulatory framework. Last year, the state requested unpaid help from marijuana consultants.
If all goes well with this year’s attempt to find a consultant, Maine could finally be on its way to establishing a viable retail program.
Meanwhile, the state has also seen big changes on the medical marijuana front. Most recently, state legislators approved a new medical marijuana bill. Most notably, the bill gets rid of the state’s previous list of qualifying health conditions.
Now, the new bill allows physicians to recommend medical marijuana to any patient they believe will benefit from it. Following the passage of the bill, the state is now looking for a consultant to help roll out its expanded medical program alongside a new recreational retail program.