Christopher Craig

Business Coalition in Maine Pushing for Tighter Cannabis Regulations

A newly-formed coalition of Maine business leaders is advocating for more stringent regulations on the state’s cannabis industry ahead of the statewide vote to legalize the drug in November, the Portland Press Herald reports. However, the group, Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana, has no plans on taking a stand regarding Question 1.

“Some people are for Question 1 and some people are opposed to Question 1,” Toby McGrath, spokesman for Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana said in the report. “But even if Question 1 doesn’t pass, this industry is here and needs to have more robust regulation and enforcement.”   

Officially, the coalition’s official platform advocates for a “quality, safe and transparent marketplace” for cannabis. Members come from a variety of business sectors, including realtors, accountants, lawyers, financial institutions, and elected officials. Pete Dufour, a Portland accountant and coalition member, said he joined the group because he has assisted businesses in navigating the regulations of the state’s medical marijuana program and hopes the organization might help connect industry operators with professionals that can steer them through the complex frameworks.

“There seems to be a big need out there for accountants and other professionals to work with these people,” Dufour said. “The laws are complex and they are in a state of flux, so they do need help navigating the process.”

Regardless of the outcome of the initiative vote, the organization is pushing for testing of THC content, pesticides and other potentially harmful substances, mandatory labeling standards, childproof packaging, and an advertising ban even if Maine remains a medical-only state.

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