Maine’s marijuana legalization timeline goes up in smoke

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s timeline for getting legalized marijuana in stores is uncertain in the wake of the cancellation of a consulting deal to write rules.

The state hired BOTEC, a Los Angeles consultant, to help craft the rules about issues such as sales and packaging. Maine officials were hopeful the rules would be ready by April. However, officials now say Friday the state has withdrawn from the contract.

The withdrawal from the contract comes after another bidder appealed the award. State officials say the contract will go out to bid again.

Maine voters approved legal recreational marijuana in 2016, but implementing rules governing it has been slow-going.

The Legislature is also looking at a flurry of bills about marijuana this session. One would seal records for past convictions of marijuana offenses.

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