Mainers weigh in on 20 percent pot tax

The public will weigh in on plans to double the recreational marijuana sales tax in Maine. (WGME)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- The public got a chance to weigh in Tuesday on a bill that could shape the future of marijuana laws in Maine, including a 20 percent sales tax.

The bill could raise marijuana sales tax to 20 percent, and Mainers came out Tuesday to voice their concerns.

The joint committee tasked with marijuana legalization laws had a packed house as people came to talk about the latest draft of a bill.

One change people in attendance say they want is for the current plan of 20 percent sales tax to be lowered.

"Sales tax at 20 percent would be a prohibitively high cost for the consumer, and also make it difficult for the taxed market to get off the ground and running,” Paul McCarrier, Legalize Maine president, said.

Legislators say they are still considering all options, but say there isn't a perfect number.

"We want to try to maximize revenue that we can get from the marijuana market, on the other hand we don't want to raise it to such a high level. We don't want to drive people to the black market,” Roger Katz, (R) Maine State Senator, said.

The draft also includes language about drive-thru dispensaries, online sales, and having marijuana deliveries sent to buyer's homes.

The 70-page document had some things people say they liked, but they say that there still is a lot of work to be done.

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