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Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, November 9, 2017
LePage vetoes marijuana bill, House fails to override

by Monique Labbe

In a letter dated November 3 to the State of Maine Legislature, Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill meant to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana.

LePage cited conflict with federal law on the subject, noting that it is unclear how the Federal government will move forward, if at all, with its own regulations.

“Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine,” said the governor.

The 84-52 House vote approving the Act to Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act was a few votes shy of the two-thirds majority required to overrule a governor veto.

On Monday, the House voted 74-62 to support the LePage veto. That vote fell short of the majority as well.

The legislature voted to amend the Marijuana Legalization Act last month, to require municipalities to “opt in” by having citizens decide in favor of allowing retail, commercial marijuana in their town; the municipal share of the collected 10 percent sales tax to be sent directly to the municipality hosting the retail operation; and set an excise tax on marijuana cultivation facilities.

Retail marijuana regulations will now likely not be addressed by the Legislature until it reconvenes in February 2018.