cannabis politics

Augusta News: 5 New MDEA Marijuana Enforcement Positions

Update: 3/2/2020 … the appropriations committee has voted out the positions 9-1!

The proposed supplemental budget (LD 2126) for 6/2020 to 6/2030 has a provision to add 4 MDEA officers and 1 Supervisor who would, “support a new marijuana enforcement unit within the 33 Department of Public Safety work solely.

A public hearing was held on Monday with many in attendance who believe that the $649,000 spent would be better used in many other areas (including opioid issues and more funding in DHHS for issues like home healthcare). Paul spoke about the issue with the George Hale and Ric Tyler Show, where he mentioned that positions such as home healthcare could better use this funding for fair wages and patient care.

We believe that this newly created unit is unnecessary, especially for something that has been a legal market for medical marijuana since 1999 and adult use since January 30, 2017 (for personal possession).

Many stated that the unit is unnecessary given that adult use sales haven’t even commenced yet and we don’t know what other resources may be needed.

It also creates uncertainty in the business community, “It would be very concerning because we wouldn’t be sure. Is this administrative and compliance issue or am going to be all of a sudden crossing into the criminal conduct code?” McCarrier said.

“The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to not include it in the supplemental budget, which was a wise move on their part,” McCarrier said. “That money can be spent elsewhere.”

It will still have to go to the Appropriations Committee who will vote on it by early next week after the budget work session.

In an interview with Fox 22 (full story and video), Paul stated: “We’re the third largest industry in the state and we hope to be treated with some respect,” he said.

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