2017-11-08 / Front Page

Governor vetoes marijuana bill

AUGUSTA — Friday, Nov. 1 Governor Paul R. LePage vetoed L.D. 1650, “An Act to Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act.” The bill addressed licensing and regulation of marijuana production and sales facilities and was passed by the Maine House and Senate on Oct. 23.

A statewide moratorium went into effect Jan. 27, temporarily prohibiting the cultivation, manufacturing and sale of marijuana while legislatures worked out details of implementing the law, passed by voters in November 2016. The moratorium remains in effect until Jan. 27, 2018.

In a press release regarding the veto, LePage said, “I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain this veto and continue to work to get this important law right.”

The veto outlines several reasons for the veto, including legalization’s conflict with federal law, the bill’s failure to address compatibility issues with the existing medical marijuana program, the bill’s bifurcated regulatory structure and its unrealistic timelines.

“When I sought guidance from my counterpart in Colorado, he was adamant that Maine should learn from the mistakes made by his state and others that have pursued legalization efforts. He urged that we take the time necessary to get our law right from the start and not rush just to get something in place,” LePage wrote. “If Maine is going to legalize and regulate marijuana, it is imperative that we do it right.”

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