Maine Governor May Veto Marijuana Law Rewrite Approved by Legislature

Maine Governor May Veto Marijuana Law Rewrite Approved by Legislature

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On Oct. 23, 2017, the Maine House of Representatives and Senate voted in a special session to approve LR 2395, a bill that would rewrite the Marijuana Legalization Act and pave the way for recreational marijuana sales. The measure will now go to the desk of Gov. Paul LePage, where it faces an uncertain future.

LePage has remained an ardent critic of legalization and, according to WGME, has threatened to veto any bill passed by the legislature that does not include delaying recreational sales until 2019 — the rewrite has no such provisions.

Under the proposed measure, communities would be required to “opt-in” to recreational sales and the state would tax marijuana at 20%, as well as implement a two-year residency requirement for licensing applicants.

The measure itself has divided the marijuana community in Maine, with some groups, such as Legalize Maine, in opposition, while others, like the state chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project, have expressed support for the measure.

Because the bill was not passed with a veto-proof majority, it is believed LePage will veto the bill and force lawmakers to start over when the legislature reconvenes in 2018.

“With today’s vote, the Legislature clearly does not have enough votes to move this bill forward over a governor’s veto,” said House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, as quoted by the Portland Press Herald. “There is obviously more work to be done when we return in January.”

LePage has 10 days to decide whether to sign or veto the measure.

William Sumner is a freelance writer and marijuana journalist located in Panama City, FL. Passionate about writing, William is dedicated to journalistic integrity and providing quality insight on current events. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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