Maine Voices: Maine must be mindful of protecting marijuana as a cottage industry – Press Herald
I have had the pleasure of talking with both Diane Russell, Democratic state representative for Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood, and David Boyer, Maine political director at the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy reform organization.
Although these conversations were separate, many themes were echoed. The main topic of discussion was the future of the recreational cannabis industry in Maine and how anticipated legislation would determine the laws and regulations within the industry.
My interest in the recreational cannabis industry is financial. I am a finance student at the University of New Hampshire with a passion for business enterprise.
The medical and recreational marijuana industry already has a significant tailwind and enormous development potential, hallmarks of a growth industry. An examination of the impact of any future laws on the structure and availability of opportunity in the industry is crucial for investment.
Of the topics discussed, the most vital was the following:
If and when a legalization bill or citizens’ initiative passes, will it create laws with the intention of limiting or expanding large corporations already heavily invested in the Maine medical marijuana marketplace? And how will such restrictions affect the cottage industry of medical and recreational marijuana production in the state?
Boyer and Russell were both ambiguous on the subject. They insisted that limitations most likely will be present, whether through the number of plants, the amount of space or another metric.
The logic of establishing this type of regulation is equally ambiguous. Importantly, it was unclear whether or not the opportunity would remain for anyone to enter the cottage industry side of this marketplace.
Large out-of-state organizations and money have considerable presence in Maine and have played a significant role in the expansion of medical marijuana availability. To what extent pressures from these organizations will adversely affect a growing cottage industry is a concern. Mainers will need clarity on this issue if a referendum is placed before them in the future.
The existing medical marijuana market in Maine is a vital cottage industry that has provided income to Mainers throughout the state. In like comparison with the microbrewery industry, an industry heavily regulated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, both large and small business investment is present.
There is no question that the recreational marijuana market will require regulation. License qualifications and product quality standards are just some …Read More