Rejoice, Mainers! The northernmost state in the continental U.S. will now also be one of the highest, as recreational marijuana use officially became legal this morning.
According to the Portland Press Herald, it took two ballot initiatives, a legal challenge that attempted to keep Question 1 (Adult Recreational Marijuana Use) off the November ballot, and then finally a recount (which ended up being abandoned) after legalization opponents wouldn’t accept the successful vote.
But now, almost three months after the measure passed, Maine residents are legally allowed to carry up to two-and-a-half ounces of weed, and grow up to six mature and twelve immature plants at a time.
Like most states that legalized in November, Maine won’t open retail shops for recreational weed until 2018, and like California and Massachusetts, Maine will allow individual municipalities to set their own laws about allowing the cannabis industry to set up shop in their towns.
Regulations for taxation, testing, and the future of the state’s existing medical marijuana community are still being considered, but rest assured that lawmakers in Maine are dedicated to keeping small cannabis farmers in business, and working together with their state’s medical industry to make a smooth transition into recreational sales.
Check out our conversation with Maine House Rep. Diane Russell from right after the November election above to hear her views on the coming regulations and how Maine will be able to succeed with legal weed.