The first state to legalize recreational marijuana in the U.S. in January 2018 is about to take the first steps towards full legalization.
On Wednesday, Maine residents will vote on whether to allow recreational marijuana sales and use at the state’s recreational marijuana shops.
The state will take a final vote next month.
Maine has not yet issued an official permit for recreational marijuana, but the governor’s office announced that they would be issuing licenses in the coming weeks.
The legalization of recreational marijuana is a big deal for Maine, which has not had any recreational marijuana legalization since at least 2009.
In Maine, only adults over 21 can purchase marijuana, and only residents over 21 with a state-issued ID can buy marijuana from retailers.
The state also does not have a medical marijuana program, so marijuana sales are allowed only in the state-licensed dispensaries.
The law also allows recreational marijuana to be used for nonmedical purposes, including for children.
But the legalization of marijuana is expected to have a big impact on Maine.
Recreational marijuana sales in Maine have been increasing steadily, with the state adding nearly 4,000 new businesses in the last six months.
The new retail sales will allow recreational weed to be sold more freely and to attract more tourists, said Jeff Sperling, director of the Marijuana Policy Project at the Marijuana Business Alliance of Maine.
The number of stores that are opening is growing, and more people are coming out to see what the state has to offer, Sperly said.
“They want to buy it, and they want to use it.”
Sperling also noted that the sales will likely increase as the state works to set up more than 500 new retail marijuana stores.
Marijuana has been legal in Maine for about two years, and the state recently approved a plan to tax marijuana sales, which will be paid through the sales tax.
The new tax, which goes into effect in October, will bring in $60 million a year for the state.
The governor’s executive order allowing recreational marijuana was also approved by the Legislature, and has been on the books since last June.
However, the governor still has to sign the bill into law.
Spering said that the legalization is an important step for the Maine economy, and that recreational marijuana can help grow the state economy.
“It’s going to make it easier for people to get their groceries, it’s going in to the stores and it’s bringing jobs,” he said.
For now, the state will have to wait until the 2018 state election to see how recreational marijuana plays out.
Sessions said in January that he is open to studying the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana as long as it is not a precursor to legal marijuana sales.