Maine House Passes Cannabis Implementation Bill; Senate Could Vote Today

Maine’s House has passed a bill that would see the state’s first recreational cannabis licenses issued in spring 2019, the Portland Press Herald reports. The measure passed 112-34, which gives it a vote-cushion from a potential veto by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

What’s in the bill: Recreational retailers would be allowed to purchase product from former medical growers in order to ensure shelves are stocked on day one. Municipalities would be allowed to prohibit recreational businesses, but they would not get any of the tax revenues by doing so. Social use is not included in the measure, which also cuts home-grow limits from six to three plants.

What’s next: The bill moves to the Senate, who could take up the measure today. Supporters don’t expect the Senate to be an issue – they passed a more liberal version of the bill with a veto-proof majority last year. If passed by the Senate, it would move to the desk of LePage who would have 10 days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature – which would avoid a legislative showdown that the early returns show he would likely lose.

Maine citizens voted to legalize cannabis in 2016.

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