Maine voters are about to consider whether to add a right to grow and produce food to their state constitution.
The measure, which will appear on the November ballot, would enshrine for Maine’s citizens “the right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment.” It was approved by a two-thirds majority in Maine’s state legislature and goes to voters without needing approval by the governor.
Proponents say that the pandemic has proved the need for alternative food sources. Opponents say that the amendment is a solution in search of a problem and that it could make it harder to enforce food-safety laws and regulations in farmers markets and other local small venues.
“When in the history of the United States has anyone ever had their right to food denied?” a state senator who voted against the amendment said to Centralmaine.com.
West Virginia and Washington state are considering similar constitutional amendments.
Laws regulating the sale of “cottage food” have been loosened in a dozen states. Florida, for example, raised the limit on how much a year residents can legally take in by selling food out of their homes from $50,000 to $250,000.