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Politics

Special Committee on Marijuana Starts Work

The special select committee on marijuana legalization has begun the enormous job of implementing Question 1, approved by voters this past fall. Panel members expect their work to go through most of the year.

Dozens of bills have already been targeted to go to the committee for its consideration this session. At the the panel’s first meeting, chairman Sen. Roger Katz, a republican from Augusta, cited a broad range of issues to be tackled.

“Public safety is an issue. Taxation. How are we going to license the oversight of growing, the licensing and oversight of retail? Public health issues,” he says.

And some committee members say the panel needs to prioritize its work on some of the issues that are before them, such as clearly defining how many marijuana plants a person may have for their personal use.

Katz says the panel may have to ask the attorney general’s office to weigh in on any possible changes in laws that might be needed in the near term. He warned panel members they will not be able to complete their work during the legislative session, and will probably need to work through next fall.