marijuana legalization

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

The Legislature has finally agreed on a bill that will allow for the retail sale and cultivation of recreational marijuana. The House and Senate both voted Wednesday to override a veto of the bill by Gov. Paul LePage, which means the bill is now law.

Sale of commercial marijuana was approved by voters back in 2016, but implementation has been slow.

The bill eliminates marijuana social clubs, reduces the number of plants that people can have and prohibits sale near schools.

Under the bill, Maine could allow retail pot sales to adults as early as next year.

Noah Berger / Associated Press

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. 

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

The Legislature’s second attempt to setup the market and regulatory system for the retail sale of recreational marijuana is already faring better than its first.

DAMIAN DOVARGANES / AP Photo

The Maine Legislature Wednesday moved closer to passing a sweeping overhaul of the state's medical marijuana program. The Health and Human Services Committee (HHS) voted to advance a bill that makes it easier for Mainers to qualify as medical marijuana patients, and allows caregivers to expand while accepting tighter regulations.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

A special legislative committee has approved its second bill to create rules for the recreational marijuana market in Maine. The bill contains several concessions designed to win the support of Gov. Paul LePage and other Republicans, who scuttled the initial effort last year.

Reps agree that the bill isn’t perfect. Critics of the measure passed in committee worry that it falls short of creating a viable regulated marijuana market that can compete with, and eventually diminish, a thriving underground cannabis trade.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public File

A coalition of supporters and opponents of recreational marijuana says it has come up with a framework to regulate the drug in Maine. The announcement marks a possible path forward as legislators restart the process to create rules that affect how marijuana is tested, taxed and sold. But it also comes amid questions about the possibility of a federal crackdown.

Dozens of people crowded the hearing room Tuesday as the Legislature’s Marijuana Implementation Committee began work on a bill that could set up the regulatory structure for recreational cannabis.

Haven Daley / Associated Press File

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will rescind Obama-era rules that went easy on enforcement of federal marijuana laws. The news dismays supporters of Maine’s law, and opponents say it will reopen the debate.