Maine Gov. Paul LePage Threatens to Veto Recreational Cannabis Bill Again – News

Photo Even though the new bill adds even more restrictions, the governor has said that he will veto it again. This time, he says he doesn’t approve of the fact that the new regulations for recreational cannabis will be completely separate from the existing regulations governing medical cannabis. LePage “was very explicit about problems with having two regulatory systems and tax structures,” his press secretary Julie RabinowitzMaine currently taxes medical cannabis at 5.5%, or 8% for edibles. The new bill would impose an effective tax rate of 20% on recreational cannabis, and LePage has argued that this tax difference will encourage recreational users to buy lower-priced medical cannabis instead. Of course, gaining access to medical cannabis in Maine requires approval from a doctor, as well as a $100-200 fee to obtain an official MMJ patient card, which makes it unlikely that a large number of recreational users would actually go to the trouble.

Both chambers of the state legislature have approved the bill, which will move to LePage’s desk this week. The governor’s announcement that he still intends to veto the bill drew immediate criticism from state lawmakers who have been working to tailor the bill to his wishes. “We worked very hard to create a bill that addressed the governor’s concerns, as well as those of our colleagues,” state Rep. Teresa Pierce, House chairwoman of the committee that drafted the bill,

Even if LePage does veto the bill, all is not lost. In order for the governor’s veto to hold, a total of 12 state Representatives or 2 state Senators would have to change their minds and vote against the bill.

LePage has ten days to decide whether to veto the bill, sign it into law, or allow it to become law without his signature. Even if the governor does veto the bill, and manages to convince the legislature not to override it, this is his last term in office.

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