The Maine Senate has passed the bill that would launch the state’s adult-use marijuana market.
The bill passed with a veto-proof margin, 24-10, Wednesday, one day after being approved by a 112-34 margin in the House, the chamber that killed a more liberal version of the bill last year by sustaining Gov. Paul LePage’s veto. The bill is likely to head to LePage Thursday.
The votes, and their veto-proof margins, comes as good news to groups that represent cannabis business interests, such as Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana, which lobbied Maine’s lawmakers to pass a business-friendly bill. Last year, MPRM board members said that too long a delay from legalization to licensing would send potential investors packing.
“Investors and entrepreneurs want legislative certainty to evaluate risk and ensure investments in equipment, construction, etcetera will comport with state law,” said Portland attorney Ted Kelleher. “We think that some investors left and will not be back, but also feel that if (the bill) becomes law, it will provide enough certainty to attract new investment.”
The legislative committee tasked with overhauling the November