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Maine Gov. Again Vetoes Rec. Cannabis Implementation Bill

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has, again, vetoed legislation to implement regulations for the state’s voter-approved cannabis legalization regime. In his veto message, LePage cites federal law, the “failings” of the state’s medical cannabis program, and his desire to see the medical and recreational markets merged.

“As I have stated previously, a concurrent medical program with weaker regulation and a lower tax rate will undermine the regulations established by this bill. The two programs must be fully integrated.” – LePage in his Apr. 27 veto message

The measure passed both chambers of the state legislature with veto-proof margins; however, LePage’s fellow Republicans could decide to sustain his veto. Last year, Republican lawmakers voted to uphold LePage’s veto the first time the legislature approved a different implementation measure.

LePage also claims that states with legal cannabis share a “gruesome similarity” – increases in motor vehicle crashes caused by cannabis impairment.

“After one of the worst years in recent memory for crashes, fatalities, and pedestrian fatalities, we should take every step to ensure safety on Maine roads instead of making them more hazardous. No branch of government has a monopoly on good ideas; if Maine is going to legalize and regulate marijuana, it will require our joint efforts to get this important issue right.” – LePage in the veto message

Voters approved the adult-use initiative in 2016. The bill would have allowed the state to begin issuing licenses next spring. Lawmakers will take up the vetoed bill on Wednesday.

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