Maine legalized cannabis back in 2017, but its law enforcement officials want to be clear that not all uses of the drug are acceptable. On Monday, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Public Safety Michael Sauschuck announced a plan to create a new squad to fight cannabis-related crimes that will cost $649,000 a year.
“As other states have seen, there is absolutely a time and place for enforcement,” said Sauschuck.
The new four-person Drug Enforcement Agency division aims to crack down on those selling and distributing cannabis who are not licensed by the state’s system. Activities will be split between the surveillance of those committing criminal acts, like selling to minors, and civil non-compliance issues, such as otherwise-legal companies who let their licenses expire or fail to properly test the products they sell.
Sauschuck’s announcement comes at a time in which legal cannabis sales in Maine have yet to begin. Past forecasts pegged the industry’s opening date to take place as early as March. The government started accepting business applications on December 5th, and questions have already arisen over whether the state will have a sufficient amount of testing facilities to meet the industry’s demand.
Maine’s Marijuana Missteps