Marijuana Sales Moratorium Likely to be Extended As Lawmakers Continue Their Work

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AUGUSTA, Maine. (WABI) The sale of recreational marijuana is set to become legal in Maine on February 1st.

But lawmakers will likely be extending that date.

The state panel tasked with creating a regulatory structure for legal sales of marijuana held a public hearing in Augusta on Tuesday.

The rules were set up and voted on last year, but Governor LePage vetoed the bill and that veto was upheld by lawmakers.

Now working off a similar bill, the committee heard from stakeholders and the public on what they liked and did not like about the proposed changes.

Senator Roger Katz has proposed extending the ban on retail pot sales.

With the Attorney General's move to crack down on states authorizing marijuana sales, the future of the legal sale of the drug in Maine is uncertain.

"Jeff Sessions coming out with that certainly gave us a moment of pause. We sent a letter directly to the US Attorney General for Maine, Halsey Frank- Senator Katz and I did- requesting a meeting. We want to see what they're thinking and what they're going to do," said Rep. Teresa Pierce, (D) House Chair, Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee.

"At a certain point, almost think of this like a football game, with what's happened in Washington now. We've got to know if football is even legal anymore and if football is legal, then what are the rules going to be? And if they can just tell us the rules, we'll be able to play by them. But it's a little bit frustrating right now not to know what those are," said Sen. Katz, (R) Senate Chair of MLI Committee.

Lawmakers plan to try to implement the voter-approved law while details at the federal level are still figured out.

The moratorium on retail sales in Maine could be extended to May, possibly to July.