On January 15th attorney general nominee William Barr shared his opinion on the current state of the marijuana laws. His comments sent publicly traded Marijuana Companies spiraling down before mounting a comeback later on in the trading session.
William Barr said that the current system around marijuana laws is “untenable” and that he personally supports prohibiting marijuana all throughout the United States. Barr went on to say that although he feels this way personally, he would not go after cannabis businesses that comply with state regulations.
Marijuana remains a Schedule A drug under Federal Law, so comments of this nature could certainly spook individuals or businesses looking to establish themelves under Medical or new Adult Use Marijuana laws throughout Maine.
The question is, what does this mean? Sadly, in my opinion, this does not offer any more clarity than we already had. William Barr seems to be echoing the sentiments and following guidelines that are already in place. Compliance will be the single most important factor in the early days of this new industry. For the moment, the Federal government seems content to let States like Maine establish and enforce their own rules. As long as your business adheres to all of the rules and regulations of the State enforcement agencies, the status quo looks like it will remain the same.
I would urge anyone looking to get into the Marijuana field to bring a corporate attorney on very early in the process. It is much easier to comply with the rules from the outset rather than facing stiff fines, criminal liability, or loss of license down the road.
Businesses are already positioning themselves by applying for “Conditional Use” licenses or compiling all the necessary paperwork to be ready to submit their application the day Maine begins accepting them.
As always in this industry, all of this could change on a moment’s notice. I will be sure to update this article if this occurs.
Every individual or entity will have different factors that will impact your application process. If you want to schedule an initial consultation please reach out to us by clicking below.
First it was Medical Marijuana, now Adult Use is arriving at our doorstep. No matter your personal position on the matter, it is clear that Marijuana storefronts, both Medical and Recretational Use, will soon start popping up across the state. In fact, the first Medical storefront has already opened in Portland. While the State is not currently accepting applications for Adult Use Licenses, smart business owners are actively positioning themselves for when that day arrives.
It is important to note that while Recreational Marijuana is now legal in Maine, it remains illegal Federally. Please address this with any corporate counsel you decide to hire. In addition, everything published here is subject to possible change as the laws and application remain in constant fluidity.
What We Do Know:
- Maine passed the Marijuana Legalization Act (Click Here to Read Title 28-B)
- The State recently hired the same consultant that wrote the rules for Colorado’s recreational rules and expects a draft in April 2019.
- The State application process will be governed by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), this is the same authority that currently grants or denys licenses for Maine Medical Marijuana.
- There will be 4 types of licenses and DAFS will not restrict the amount of licenses they issue at the State level:
- Cultivation Facility;
- Testing Facility;
- Products Manufacturing Facility;
- Marijuana Store
- Every town in Maine that wants to allow Adult Use Facilities must OPT IN to the new law. In short, every town has the right to say no.
What We Do Not Know:
- The actual rules on how Title 28-B will be administered or enforced. We are expecting those in April 2019.
- What towns will OPT IN?
- What will the application look like? We have a general idea and the initial screening criteria can be found here.
- The actual timeline for when the State and Towns will begin accepting applications. The draft rules will be submitted for comment in April, but they will still need to accept feedback and finalize them.
This is a high level overview of the current state of affairs and each indiviual and company present a different legal situation. If you are considering trying to become a part of this new industry, please contact Chris Piasecki, Michael Vaillancourt, or Jacob Bowie of our Corporate Team to set up an appointment.