On Nov. 3, Maine Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would have set up regulations for legal sales and cultivation of marijuana under the Marijuana Legalization Act, the ballot initiative state voters approved in 2016. The state House sustained the veto three days later when it voted 74-62 to override LePage’s veto, 17 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed. A special legislative committee had been working on the regulations for more than nine months.
“I feel like we legalized gasoline, but not gas stations,” Rep. Martin Grohman told the Portland Press-Herald.
The veto does not prevent adults from legally possessing or giving away up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. But without the regulations proposed in the bill—a tax structure and licensing for stores, cultivators, product manufacturers and testing companies—the opening of legal pot stores will be delayed. Maine currently has a moratorium on retail sales until February 1.
Gov. LePage cited the conflict between state and federal law, lack of consistency between the state’s medical and recreational programs, and unnecessarily high regulatory costs as the reasons for his