Maine lawmakers have passed a measure to implement the state’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis regime; however, the legislation failed to garner a two-thirds majority vote in either chamber opening it up to a veto by Gov. Paul LePage, according to several reports. The House rejected a LePage-backed proposal introduced by Republican leader Rep. Ken Fredette to extend the state’s moratorium until 2019.
Fredette, who voted against the bill, anticipates that LePage, an outspoken critic of the law, will veto the measure, bringing lawmakers back to the table in January to extend the current moratorium.
“With today’s vote, the Legislature clearly does not have enough votes to move this bill forward over a governor’s veto,” Fredette said in a Portland Press Herald report. “There is obviously more work to be done when we return in January.”
The moratorium pushed the rollout of the industry until February 2018, but Fredette said that more “rule making” needs to be done as part of the bill and that “is not going to be done anywhere near” Feb. 1.
The measure would create a state licensing system for growers, retail stores, and manufacturers and establish a 10 percent sales tax and an excise tax based on weight for sales between wholesale cultivators and sellers, according to a WGME report. It would also allow localities to pass their own moratoriums or ban the industry outright.
The measure next moves to the desk of LePage who has 10 days to sign it, veto it, or allow it to commence without his signature.