The Legislature took a big, yet perfunctory step toward implementing marijuana legalization on Thursday. 

With a final vote in the Senate, a bill sponsored by House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, went to Gov. Paul LePage’s desk.

It would:

  • Move regulatory control of recreational marijuana from the Department of Agriculture — as the 2016 ballot initiative prescribed — to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.
  • Allocate $1.4 million to implement the law.
  • Provide the Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee with $200,000 for “covering the costs of consultant services and necessary travel and expenses.”

Lawmakers already have delayed much of the legalization law until 2018, so regulators and lawmakers will be busy working on the issue until then. 

The Legislature passed a bill that would set up some bureaucratic structure to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana in Maine. Gov. Paul LePage needs to sign it or veto the bill.

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