Last week began with a stinging disappointment for Maine cannabis consumers when the Maine legislature failed to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto that effectively stymied the state’s recreational marijuana law.
But the week ended on a positive note when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill allowing PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. Read all about these developments and more in The Fresh Toast’s Marijuana Legislative Roundup for Nov. 13.
On Monday, the Maine legislature failed to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to implement recreational marijuana legalization in the state. The bill was the result of months of negotiations by a special committee tasked with implementing Maine’s voter-approved recreational cannabis law.
It would have increased the sales tax on marijuana from 10 percent to 20 percent, required municipalities to “opt-in” to the state’s legal cannabis market, and made a number of changes to the way cannabis is regulated at the state level. LePage cited concerns over public safety and uncertainty regarding federal policy toward state legalization efforts to justify his veto. The governor, who has been a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, had previously supported legislation that would have pushed the start of recreational sales back to 2019 to give lawmakers more time to finalize a regulatory framework.
The legislature has already extended the moratorium on cannabis sales to February 2018, though this is likely to be extended until at least 2019 while a new regulatory bill is crafted. It has been legal to grow and possess marijuana in Maine since February.
On Monday, legislation was introduced to the Massachusetts House that would make a number of reforms to the state’s criminal justice system, and allow some prior convictions to be expunged. The bill would allow those with past convictions for crimes