Lawmakers Override Gov. LePage's Medical Marijuana Veto

Jul 10, 2018

With near unanimous support, lawmakers overrode the Governor's veto Monday of the broad reform bill for the state's medical marijuana program.

Maine lawmakers have passed a bill that allows doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical marijuana to any patient they think would benefit, not just those with one of several "qualifying conditions." 

“Anybody with a doctor's recommendation for any condition where the doctor feels it would be helpful for that patient, could receive a recommendation to use medical cannabis,” says Eric Brakey, co-chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, which took up the changes.

Brakey says the new law will also give cities and towns more control over medical marijuana providers.

“Municipalities will have the opportunity to do zoning ordinances, and for businesses based out of people's homes to do home occupation permits,” says Brakey. “That really allows municipalities to work with these small businesses to make sure everyone's being a good neighbor.”

In his veto letter, Gov. Paul LePage gave 11 reasons for rejecting the bill, including one provision that he said would leave patients "vulnerable and the program open to potentially dangerous and violent criminals." He also said it would cost the government money and conflict with federal tax rules.

The bill becomes law 90 days after the Legislature's special session ends.