Maine Governor Under Pressure to Sign Marijuana Regulation Bill

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R).

PORTLAND, ME — Marijuana advocates are calling on Gov. Paul LePage to let the marijuana regulation and implementation bill approved by the legislature become law.

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On Monday, the legislature passed LD 1650, which creates the rules for licensing and regulating marijuana producers, processors, and retail establishments; sets the tax rates for adult-use marijuana; and delays marijuana consumption social clubs until summer 2019.

In a televised debate during the 2014 gubernatorial race, Gov. LePage stated that he would support making marijuana legal if it were done via citizen referendum. All other candidates were opposed.

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“We urge the governor to honor what he said when he was running for re-election and allow the marijuana regulation bill to become law,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “While Eliot Cutler and Congressman Michaud stated they did not support marijuana legalization, Gov. LePage said he would if it were ‘done by referendum.’ I know many people who voted for him because he was supposedly the best candidate on cannabis policy.”

During the 2016 campaign for Question 1, which mandated that marijuana be regulated for adults, Gov. LePage spoke out against the measure.

Voters approved it in November, and the legislature has spent the last eight months studying the issue and hearing from experts and Maine residents about the best ways to regulate and tax marijuana.

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“This bill would accomplish the intent of voters when they passed Question 1,” Boyer said. “A veto now amounts to the governor ignoring his constituents in order to keep illicit marijuana dealers in business for another two years.”

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