Healthy cannabis plant photographed in a Washington state cultivation facility.

Rory Savatgy

Maine Gov. Calls for Moratorium of Question 1 Rollout

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has signed the proclamation confirming November’s voter-approved ballot question to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, but also called for a moratorium on its implementation with could delay the process, the Portland Press Herald reports.

By signing the measure, the governor has assured that as of Jan. 30 citizens will be legally allowed to grow and possess personal amounts of cannabis. However, if LePage and his allies get their way the licensing of retail shops and retail sales could be pushed back up to one year.

In an interview with WVOM radio, LePage said that while he had signed the proclamation “the issue now is when it will go into effect, and I don’t know.”

“That’s going to depend on the legislature because as of right now the election, according to Secretary of State, was positive for marijuana and there is nothing I can do until the legislature gives me money to set up the infrastructure,” LePage said.

The Republican governor called a moratorium “appropriate” saying he doesn’t think the voters “realize what they’ve done” and again called for getting rid of the state’s medical cannabis system in the wake of an adult-use market.

“In Colorado, what they’re telling us is ‘Don’t make the mistake we did. We didn’t tax medical marijuana and we taxed recreational marijuana, so everybody in [the state] went out and got a medical marijuana card’ so now they’re collecting just a fraction of the taxes that they thought they would,” he said.

LePage said that activist Paul McCarrier “is smoking” when he claims that the tax revenues from the industry would be $200 million by 2020.

“He is out in left field,” LePage said. “We don’t even make that on liquor and liquor has been around a heck of a lot longer. We might make $50 to $51 million a year on liquor, so he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

There has not yet been any legislation introduced to enact any moratorium on Question 1and lawmakers have not come to any consensus on potential measures.

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