It’s back to the drawing board for Maine legislators. On Nov. 6, 2017, the Maine House of Representatives fell 17 votes short of overriding Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1650, a bill regulating the state’s recreational market.
With the bill effectively dead and the legislative session over, lawmakers will have less than one month when they reconvene in January to craft and pass a regulatory bill before the state’ moratorium on recreational marijuana sales expires, a prospect that many lawmakers find unlikely.
According to the Portland Press Herald, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette urged his fellow lawmakers to extend the moratorium to a later date, stating that there was no way the rule making process would be done by the Feb. 1 deadline, but the idea was rejected by the Democratic leadership.
With the governor’s veto in place and no extension for the sales moratorium, Rep. Martin Grohman fears that legislature’s inaction will only encourage black market marijuana sales.
“If we don’t go ahead and move, we’re going to create incentives for the wrong people,” Grohman said, as quoted by Bangor Daily News. “I feel like we legalized gasoline but not gas stations here.”