On Dec. 17, 2016, an anti-legalization group in Maine withdrew its recount request with the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections, ending the recount of Question 1, an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in the state, as reported by Portland Press Herald.
“We promised folks that if we came to a point where we could not see any chance of reversing the result, we would not drag the process out,” said Newell Augur, the No on 1 campaign’s legal counsel. “We are satisfied that the count and the result are accurate.”
“We are excited and grateful that the No on 1 campaign has decided not to drag this out any longer so we can start the business of implementation and responsibly regulate marijuana,” said David Boyer, the Yes on 1 campaign manager.
Voters in Maine narrowly passed Question 1 on Nov. 8, prompting the No on 1 campaign to launch a recount; however, the No on 1 campaign struggled to produce volunteers for the recount and then the recount failed to show a significant difference in the election’s outcome.
Thirty days after Gov. Paul LePage certifies the results of Question 1, possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana will be legal in Maine as will small home grows. The legislature will have nine months from the date of LePage’s signature to create regulations for the recreational market. According to Boyers, the ability to purchase marijuana at retail stores likely won’t be a reality until at least a year after the final regulations have been established.