Maine only narrowly approved the legalization of recreational marijuana and so there is still quite a bit of dissension in the state. Otherwise, Maine is a pretty relaxed state that permits the purchase of alcohol as if someone was going to a fast-food restaurant and they want to permit drive-through recreational marijuana purchases as well. There are concerns that it will make minor possession more likely, but if that is true then it would also be easier for minors to acquire alcohol too, wouldn’t it?
In Maine, as in certain other U.S. states, adults can buy beer at a drive-through as if they were buying hamburgers at McDonalds. Now Maine is considering extending drive-through privileges to cannabis.
First reported by the Press Herald, Maine’s proposed cannabis regulations would establish a system where adults 21 and older could purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries through a drive-thru window, as well as being able to purchase cannabis over the internet.
The proposed regulations earned praise from cannabis advocates like David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project.
“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” Boyer told the Press Herald’s Penelope Overton. “The voters want it regulated and taxed like alcohol. The rules should be the same.”
However, some state officials oppose the regulations, out of fear that drive-through and online sales will increase chances of cannabis ending up in the hands of minors.
“Given the fact that about half the people in the state voted against legalization, I think we ought to go slow and be cautious in the beginning,” Republican Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta told the Press Herald. (Katz adds that there is still a long way to go, and he fully supports the legislative process.)
The committee’s bill—which would also set up a 20% sales tax rate for recreational cannabis sales—will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, Sep. 26, at 9 am EST, at Room 228 at the State House in Augusta. The committee will then reconvene on Sept. 27 and 28 to discuss the bill. If approved, the full Legislature will likely consider it next month.