Across Maine, the knowledge that the sale of recreational marijuana will eventually be legal has many towns and cities bracing for the change.
It’s a daunting task for the local officials who are considering the potential effects of legalization, from the odors that could waft off of growing facilities, to the burden those facilities could place on water and electric systems, to the impaired drivers that could hit the road.
Community leaders from across the state raised those and other questions in Gardiner Friday morning, during a forum about recreational marijuana’s impact on Maine municipalities that included presentations from an attorney, a city planner, a property developer and members of the marijuana industry.
After the new recreational marijuana law was narrowly approved by voters in November, state lawmakers are now drafting the rules that must be in place before the drug can legally be sold.
It won’t be until at least early 2018 that the new industry finally gets a green light, said Ted Kelleher, who heads the regulated substances practice at the law firm Drummond Woodsum.