Maine lawmakers override governor’s veto of recreational marijuana bill

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After fits and starts owing to political squabbles, Maine is moving forward to launch its adult-use marijuana market, likely by 2019 or 2020.

State lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto last week of a recreational MJ implementation bill.

The legislation develops the regulatory framework for the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana, which voters approved in 2016.

LePage, a Republican who has been a vociferous opponent of marijuana, had written in his veto letter Friday that he couldn’t “in good conscience” support a bill that violated federal law.

It was the second time LePage tried to thwart a rec MJ industry, but this time he was unsuccessful.

The Maine House voted 109-39 to overturn the veto. The Maine Senate voted 28 in favor with only six against.

The compromise legislation permits municipalities to opt-in and allow rec MJ sales. It also provides tax dollars for law enforcement and public awareness campaigns.

The medical and recreational MJ industries in Maine will operate under different sets of rules and tax rates.