Maine joins Massachusetts as the earliest East Coast attempts at a state legalization initiative (the District of Columbia legalized by voter initiative in 2014). Question 1 on the Maine general election ballot would legalize adult-use cannabis for anyone 21 years old or older.
The Maine legalization story has drummed up a lot of controversy and support throughout its course this year. In March, it was said that the initiative had been disqualified due to a group of 17,000 allegedly faulty petition signatures, as per a decision made by Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap — however, that decision was later overruled by Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy.
The initiative has a slim majority support among voters, though many state officials have come out against legalization. Maine Governor Paul LePage made headlines when he posted a Facebook video in which he made accusations hearkening to the days of Reefer Madness propaganda, including a false claim that cannabis-related traffic deaths had risen in Colorado since that state voted to legalize.
If you check back to this post throughout the evening, we will be live updating the article as election results come in.
Update 6:15 pm PST – Ballot counting has begun in Maine, and the early numbers are looking good for Question 1, with 53 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed, according to numbers from the Associated Press.
Question 1, “Marijuana Legalization Act”
Personal possession limits: 2 1/2 ounces (includes transfer without renumeration).
Taxes: 10 percent retail sales tax.
Fees: Application fees for any industry license could range from $10 to $250.
License fees for retail locations and marijuana social clubs range from $250 to $2,500.
License fees for testing facilities are $100.
Cultivation license fees range $10 to $100 per 1,000-square-feet.
Product manufacturing licenses range from $100 to $1,000
Revenue disbursement: Revenues will be deposited into the General Fund.
VIDEO: Overview of Cannabis Initiatives
Below is a brief overview of all the different state-level cannabis initiatives on the ballot this election cycle. With nine total states voting on expanding access to cannabis, this year presents an unprecedented opportunity for legalization advocates and medical cannabis patients.