Maine cannabis legalization a go after foes drop recount effort

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Maine officially became the latest state, and the second in New England, to legalize adult-use cannabis after opponents formally abandoned their demand for a recount.

The No on 1 campaign, as the anti-legalization effort was called, notified Maine’s secretary of state of the decision on Saturday, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Maine voters approved legalization 381,692 to 377,619 on Nov. 8, a margin of 4,073, according to unofficial election-day results.

Gov. Paul LePage, a legalization opponent, must now certify the results, and marijuana possession and home cultivation will become legal 30 days after that. Adult-use retail sales aren’t expected to start until 2018.

Under the new law, adults would be permitted to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow a specified number of plants. Retail stores and social clubs would also be legal.

The recount had been suspended last week for the holiday break.

“After counting nearly a third of all the ballots in Maine, it was clear that the recount was not going to change the result. We are grateful that the No on 1 campaign has conceded and look forward to working together toward a successful implementation of Question 1,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes on 1.

Maine, which has permitted medical cannabis since 1999, joins fellow New England state Massachusetts in legalizing recreational marijuana in the Nov. 8 election.