Maine: House passes bill to require agriculture department to test marijuana for safety

The Maine House overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday that would require the state’s Department of Agriculture to set up testing facilities so it could test marijuana for safety before it is sold for recreational use.

The bill faces further votes in both the House and Senate, and will likely face the scrutiny of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who has urged lawmakers to put the regulation of marijuana wholly in the hands of the state’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, which oversees the state’s wholesale liquor business and its lottery games.

The bill, approved by the House on a 101-32 vote, is the first from a special select committee of the Legislature that was established to set up a regulatory regime for recreational marijuana, which was approved by voters at the ballot box last November.

While the voter-passed law already makes it legal for an adult 21 or over...

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