Veto Day: Lawmakers To Decide Fate Of Bill Establishing Maine's Retail Marijuana Market

May 2, 2018

Whether Maine will join the handful of states with a functioning market for recreational marijuana could be determined Wednesday when lawmakers vote on a bill vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage. 

The bill is lawmakers' second attempt to set up the marketplace for retail marijuana since the voter-approved law was ratified in 2016.

On the surface, the second proposal faces the same dynamic that tanked the first bill: A veto vote that will require House Republicans to break ranks with the governor - a rare occurrence.

But this vote could be different. That's because the new bill includes a host of changes designed to win over House Republicans, including eliminating social clubs, reducing the number of plants that an adult age 21 or older can grow and no tax revenue-sharing with municipalities.

Those concessions have irked lawmakers who supported the ballot initiative, but it's not yet clear if that disenchantment is enough to cancel out newly acquired Republican votes.

Update 1:53 p.m.: The Maine Legislature has overridden the governor's veto. The Senate voted 28-6 and the House voted 109-39 Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage's veto. Under the bill, Maine could allow retail sales to adults as early as next year.