With preparations underway for a recreational marijuana market in Maine, the latest signals from Washington suggest the Trump administration isn’t interested in cracking down on states that have legalized recreational use.

Several Republican U.S. senators say Attorney General Jeff Sessions told them privately that he is not considering a major shift in enforcement, despite his opposition to the use of marijuana, Politico reported Thursday.

“He told me he would have some respect for states’ (rights) on these things. And so I’ll be very unhappy if the federal government decides to go into Colorado and Washington and all of these places. And that’s not (what) my interpretation of my conversation with him was. That this wasn’t his intention,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Politico.

The report comes as Maine lawmakers on the Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation prepare to craft rules and regulations for the recreational market in the state.

“It’s hard to imagine the (Trump) administration would try to shut down the existing medical marijuana system,” said Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, the Senate chairman of the panel, in a telephone interview Friday night.

Maine voters decided by a narrow margin in November to allow adults age 21 and over to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to six adult plants, although use of marijuana is legal only in a private setting. The ballot initiative also sets up a process for retail sales of marijuana. But the Legislature delayed the effective date of that part of the legalization measure until at least February 2018 in order to give state agencies time to draft rules and regulations regarding licensing, sales and enforcement.

Maine is one of eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana. The drug remains illegal under federal law.

Maine legalized medicinal use of marijuana in 1999. Generally, there is more support here and elsewhere in the U.S. for medical use and less for recreational use, and that’s something Katz’s committee will consider as it draws up rules and regulations.

For example, the committee may want to make a clear distinction between recreational and medicinal use, instead of creating one overarching policy for both, Katz said.

“I suppose a bunch of what we are doing (on the recreational side) could be completely shut down by Washington, but we have to move ahead as if that is not going to happen,” he said. “In theory, the administration could shut down the recreational market, and that’s another good argument for keeping the medical marijuana structure separate. We wouldn’t want to lose the whole thing.”

Publicly, there are threats of a federal crackdown. Sessions said this week that he is “dubious about marijuana” and is reviewing current policy. Last month, White House Press secretary Sean Spicer said he expected “greater enforcement” of federal laws against marijuana use, adding that President Trump sees “a big difference” between using marijuana for medical purposes and for recreational purposes.

On Thursday, a group of bipartisan senators from states that have legalized marijuana sent a letter to Sessions asking him to respect states’ rights. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine were not among them.

“We respectfully request that you uphold DOJ’s existing policy regarding states that have implemented strong and effective regulations for recreational use,” the senators wrote to Sessions. “It is critical that states continue to implement these laws.”

Katz said members of the committee will visit a marijuana dispensary, a grow facility and a caregiver operation next week to see the existing medical marijuana market in Maine.

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