Governor Mills has signed a law that will develop a framework to allow for the legal sale of marijuana.

Many residents have been frustrated by lawmakers' delay in allowing for marijuana retail sales, after the measure was passed by voters in 2016. But state and local governments have struggled to find a way to regulate the sales, including keeping the products out of the hands of minors. With this new law, signed this week, the necessary regulations will be created, while still allowing each local government the chance to opt out of permitting retail sales within town limits.

An Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) has been created that will be in charge of overseeing the industry and approving licenses. The OMP has worked with several state agencies, including the Attorney General, the Secretary of State's office, and the Legislature's Office of Policy and Legal Analysis. Erik Gundersen, Director of OMP, says the goal is to license and regulate marijuana establishments and distributors, while keeping the public's health and safety in mind.

The OMP will spend the next several months developing a marijuana track and trace system, adult use licensing system, and a public health and safety education campaign. The office expects to start accepting applications for licenses by the end of this year.



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