Maine lawmakers seek to delay launch of rec industry

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Lawmakers in Maine have introduced a bill that would postpone the start of the state’s recreational marijuana industry.

The proposal, introduced by leaders of the state House and Senate, would extend the timeline for officials to develop and implement regulations on rec marijuana businesses by three months.

Under the adult-use law Maine voters approved last year, the state has until the end of October to get a regulatory system up and running.

But backers of the proposed bill want to extend that to Feb. 1, 2018, saying the state needs more time to develop sales and licensing regulations and formulate testing and certification procedures.

The initiative also would enact a moratorium on the sale and consumption of edibles in the rec market until Feb. 1.

The bill must first go through a public hearing process before being voted on by the House and Senate, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Maine’s recreational cannabis industry could eventually bring in $250 million-$350 million in annual retail sales, according to preliminary estimates by Marijuana Business Daily.