Maine Senate joins House in passing recreational marijuana bill by veto-proof majority
Published on Apr 11, 2018
Maine legislators have done what few other lawmakers could do in the US, agree, and they've agreed at high enough margins to earn a veto-proof vote, meaning the bill can pass with or without the governor's signature. The bill passed this week was a compromise bill for the state's recreational cannabis program that is expected to begin early 2019. A few things covered in the bill would lower the number of plants one can grow at home from 6 to 3, ban all deliveries of cannabis as well as drive through stores and even social clubs. Among some of the less-liked changes are raising the tax on cannabis sales from 10% up to 20%. Expected revenue from such high taxes would be around $23 million with 6% going towards law enforcement. While many applaud the success of regulating a recreational cannabis indudstry not everyone is thrilled about the compromise. Some advocates believe the high taxes will keep some users reliant on the black market rather than integrate into the legal market.
The bill passed by a 24-10 margin one day after being approved 112-34 in the House, which killed a more liberal version of the bill last year by sustaining LePage’s veto. The bill is likely to head to LePage after more legislative action Thursday.
“We listened and we listened and we listened,” said Katz, who voted against legalization of adult-use marijuana in the 2016 referendum. “We talked to all the stakeholders, we looked at other states and what they’ve done. … We tried to thread the needle and be right in the middle of the pack.”