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Maine Governor Vetoes Bill To Regulate Sale Of Marijuana

In a misguided 11th-hour action, the Maine governor has vetoed the bill to regulate sale of marijuana in the state. What could possibly be the reasoning behind this?

Chloé Harper Gold

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Maine Governor Vetoes Bill To Regulate Sale Of Marijuana

On the last possible day to take any official action, the Maine governor vetoes the bill to regulate sale of marijuana in the state. We’ll explain what this means, because, let’s be honest, it might be confusing.

Here’s what this veto means.

The State Of Weed In The State of Maine

Back in 2016, Maine voters made their voices heard on the subject of legalized recreational weed. The majority of residents were in favor of adults being able to legally possess and consume the herb without a medical card. So lawmakers passed legislation making recreational cannabis legal for adults.

Since then, Maine has been considered to be a legal state. But there’s a pretty significant caveat. You can possess, consume and even grow weed in Maine, but you can’t sell or purchase it.

Cannabis users get around this by “gifting” weed, which is legal. They can also make money doing this by “selling” the bag the weed is packaged in. As such, the legal weed market in Maine is completely unregulated.

Last month, the House and the Senate sent a bill to rectify this over to the governor, Paul LePage. The bill would put into motion steps that the state could take to start the regulation process and start generating tax revenue from cannabis.

Today was the last day for Governor LePage to either sign or veto the bill. Since he is vehemently anti-pot, chances of him signing it were minuscule. But there was still the chance he wouldn’t take any action at all, which would pass the bill.

But today, the Maine governor vetoed the bill to regulate the sale of marijuana. He cited the federal government’s stance on weed as a reason for his 11th-hour action. Pot is federally prohibited, and LePage claims that he doesn’t understand how the federal government will treat states who legalize and regulate cannabis.

That’s a pretty weak excuse if you ask us.

Final Hit: Maine Governor Vetoes Bill To Regulate Sale Of Marijuana

Because LePage vetoed the bill, the cannabis industry remains unregulated in Maine. The state will not reap any benefits of legal marijuana. Ironically, by vetoing the bill, anti-pot LePage is directly supporting the unregulated market. He probably didn’t intend that. Instead, he is reportedly telling lawmakers to “go back to the drawing board” on the subject of regulating the sale of cannabis.

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