Maine House of Representatives Passes Cannabis Legalization Rewrite – News

The total number of cannabis plants each resident is allowed to home-grow has been reduced to three adult plants, down from six in the original bill. The bill also allows individual Maine municipalities to “opt out” of allowing canna-businesses in their jurisdictions, but would also ensure that these towns do not get a cut of the state’s cannabis tax revenue. Legislators also changed the tax structure of the bill, implementing a 10% sales tax along with a state excise tax, instead of the flat 20% rate established in the original referendum.

“We worked hard to compromise and find common ground,” state Rep. Teresa Pierce, chair of the committee that drafted the bill,

On Tuesday, the House voted 112-34 to support the new bill, an overwhelming margin of support that could prevent Gov. LePage from vetoing the legislation. The bill now moves on to the state Senate for a vote, but considering that Senators approved a more liberal legalization bill last year with a veto-proof margin, chances of the bill’s success in that chamber are also good. “

Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine, who worked to advocate for the original legalization measure, is not in favor of the new bill. The new legislation no longer includes a limit to the amount of weed that can be grown in the state, which McCarrier said could increase competition to the extent that local cannabis farmers would go out of business, allowing “Big Tobacco” to take over the cannabis market.

This year’s bill has a greater chance of success than last year’s attempt to rewrite the referendum measure. The supermajority vote gives greater protection against a veto from Gov. LePage, and even if the governor continues his efforts to derail legal cannabis, this is his last term in office.

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