Maine lawmakers will consider a proposal to provide a cloak of secrecy over the state’s forthcoming recreational marijuana industry.
The bill, L.D. 2091, which was authored by state regulators, would exempt trade secrets, security and operating procedures that cannabis businesses provided to the state from public records law.
The state contends that the legislation would enshrine protections for a marijuana company’s proprietary information, such as a recipe for a weed edible.
David Heidrich, a spokesman for the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy, which drafted L.D. 2091, said that it will be up to the legislature to determine “whether the benefits of an exemption outweigh the inability for public review.”
“In the view of the Office of Marijuana Policy, our proposal meets this high threshold,” Heidrich told the Portland Press Herald.
The bill explicitly aims to amend “the Freedom of Access Act to exclude from the definition of ‘public record’ application materials provided to the office of marijuana policy regarding security, trade secrets and standard operating procedures.”
L.D. 2091 is drawing criticism from public records advocates and journalists. The Maine Press Association, representing all of the state’s daily papers, is opposed to the bill. Matt Warner, a lawyer in the state,