Maine Office of Cannabis Policy is paying up to $20,000 to communities that permit adult cannabis sales to aid with cost regulation. Currently only 7% of the cities and towns have opted-in to adult-use cannabis sales.
Local governments may use the money to pay for things like legal representation, ordinance writing, and staff work, and there’s hope that it will persuade communities who have banned business from operating inside their boundaries to change their minds.
According to Erik Gundersen, head of the state’s cannabis office, the truth is that people are buying, selling, and using cannabis in every municipality, regardless of whether or not it has opted in. An extensive 93% of Maine’s municipalities have chosen not to participate in the adult-use cannabis industry.
“The most important thing we can do is try and ensure that Mainers who choose to use cannabis can do so in a well-regulated environment that safeguards public health and safety in the best way possible,” Gundersen says.
According to the Maine Municipal Association, the incentive money isn’t nearly enough to aid cities and towns that have decided to allow adult cannabis sales.