Monday was another day in Augusta for Paul. First was a work session which included: a bill to allow colocation of medical and adult use retail stores, changes to the rules on testing, several omnibus bills to change the adult use program, and of course Senator Cyrway’s bill restricting where cannabis can be smoked.
Several bills were tabled until next week, and a few passed through committee. Colocation has a divided report of “ought not to pass.” All of this bills will still have to be voted on by the complete legislature – so, there is time to contact your representatives.
Our State Senator, Erin Herbig, voted against colocation. Her reasoning was that she’d heard from constituents that they didn’t favor it … We believe colocation is important because:
– It will allow medical stores to easily transition part of their store into adult use and they will not have to make the decision to stay one or transition to solely adult use.
– It allows those who are already experts in the area to continue providing quality products and service to the adult use market.
– Small businesses will be able to stay competitive and not have to purchase or lease numerous spaces and incur extra infrastructure costs, etc.
– Municipalities who have already allowed medical stores will not have to duplicate as much of the permitting or planning time that has already been done.
If you agree that colocation makes sense, please consider contacting Sen. Herbig with a friendly email or phone call. The Bill information is: LD 999: An Act To Allow Medical and Adult Use Marijuana Stores To Share a Common Space
Senator Cyrway’s bill was passed by the committee and now on to the full legislature with the amendment that it only would prohibit smoking in cars when there is a child under 18 present (much better than his original bill in it’s entirety which wanted to extend to private residence and private property). A small victory – and this bill still needs to be voted on in the House and Senate.
The testing bill and the Office of Marijuana Policy’s bill were tabled until next Monday. We are hoping that amendments will be made to remove the restrictions with ethanol extraction in order to protect small labs and home use. Many use forms of ethanol extraction to safely create tinctures and other medicinal products and restricting this is not necessary!
Sen. Lucchini (the chair of the committee who hears most of the adult use cannabis bills) said he wants to get the program going before there are any changes, however he is the sponsor of the Department bill that would make changes including adding sample collectors, the ethanol ban, and more.
It is important to keep at it and make sure those in Augusta know that we are watching and we aren’t going anywhere 🙂
The open container law will be on the floor for voting soon and your signatures will help send a message – thank you!
Stay tuned for more updates …