Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Friday vetoed legislation to implement a voter-approved recreational marijuana industry in the state.
It’s the second time the Republican governor has vetoed an implementation bill since voters approved adult-use marijuana in 2016.
“It’s disappointing, but he made it clear to the Legislature that if he didn’t get 100% of what he wanted, he’d veto it,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.
If the Legislature’s support for the bill to regulate legal adult-use marijuana sales holds up, then there are enough votes to override the veto.
“But if it changes, then we’ll see,” Boyer said. He said state lawmakers are scheduled to take up the issue Wednesday.
LePage wrote in his veto letter that he “cannot in good conscience support a law that, on its face, violates federal law.”
Even if lawmakers fail to override the veto, it may not be a huge setback for a program that’s not expected to start until 2019 or 2020, Boyer noted.
He said MPP is skeptical LePage will allow implementation before he leaves office in January 2019.
If the Legislature overrides LePage’s veto, the medical and recreational industries in Maine will operate under separate sets of rules, including different tax rates.
Rec marijuana would be taxed at roughly 20%, while medical cannabis would be taxed at just 5.5% for flower and 8% for edibles, according to the Portland Press Herald.