State legislators in Maine have simply accomplished one thing exceptional. Today, in a putting show of political will, lawmakers in each chambers of the legislature voted to override Governor LePage’s veto of a invoice legalizing adult-use hashish gross sales. Republican Gov. Paul LePage had long-vowed to dam any leisure invoice that crossed his desk. But after solely a quick debate previous to the voting, Maine lawmakers have been capable of override the governor to start out adult-use marijuana gross sales.
Maine’s House and Senate Unite To Overcome Governor’s Veto
According to Maine’s structure, a veto override requires a two-thirds majority vote in each legislative chambers. Wednesday’s votes to overturn the governor’s veto of an adult-use marijuana invoice simply cleared that hurdle.
In the state House, legislatures voted 109 in favor to 39 towards overturning LePage’s veto. In the Senate, the margin in favor was even greater, with 28 yeas and simply eight nays.
Indeed, the one cause Maine’s legislature was capable of override the veto was that the invoice had initially cleared the House with a veto-proof margin of 112-34.
The success of the votes represents a big step towards implementing the authorized leisure hashish market voters accepted again in 2016. Nevertheless, it stays an preliminary step. And Governor LePage nonetheless has strikes he could make to delay the launch of a authorized retail marketplace for hashish.
Maine’s Governor LePage Can Still Delay Adult-Use Cannabis Sales
Back in February, it appeared LePage, a steadfast foe of legalization, was ready to concede a small patch of floor to medical hashish sufferers, if just for a short time.
On the eve of the state’s deliberate rollout of robust new laws proscribing entry to sure medical hashish merchandise, LePage introduced that he would wait till May to implement the modifications.
Convinced that Maine’s medical hashish program wanted “improved and increased regulation,” LePage however needed to keep away from any “unnecessary confusion and complication,” he wrote in a letter to Representative Deborah Sanderson.
But LePage has all the time been adamantly against a regulated adult-use marijuana market. In reality, that is his second veto of such a invoice. In November 2017, LePage vetoed a extra expansive invoice that had handed the state legislature by a slimmer margin.
That is to say, state lawmakers secured a veto-proof majority solely by including additional restrictions to the invoice. At first, the regulation would have allowed hashish golf equipment, permitted residents to develop as much as six crops, and capped manufacturing to make the market extra aggressive for smaller, in-state growers.
Now, nevertheless, the invoice solely permits residence cultivation of three crops. It additionally eliminates the manufacturing cap and axes the prospect of golf equipment.
More guidelines stay to be written. And the individual answerable for that course of is, to the chagrin of the invoice’s supporters, Gov. LePage. LePage is liable for establishing the executive course of that might set the principles and laws for the business hashish market.
Things like inspection, licensing, taxation and enforcement all need to get found out. And Gov. LePage can sluggish the method considerably, just by sitting on his arms.
Governor LePage’s veto of a well-liked adult-use invoice and its legislative override come amid a devastating opioid epidemic that killed over 400 individuals in Maine in 2017. Legalization is one approach to fight the lethal disaster. Residents who voted to legalize grownup hashish use and their representatives in workplace have already made that case.
But Wednesday’s override of the governor’s veto signifies that authorized, regulated hashish gross sales are an inevitability in Maine. Unfortunately, Gov. LePage nonetheless has a whole lot of management over the tempo of the method. It might even take till Maine’s subsequent governor takes workplace in 2019 to completely implement the regulation.