Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he plans to veto a measure allowing non-medical adult use of marijuana in the state because he doesn’t think there should be two separate regulatory structures, one for medical cannabis and one for all other use.
The proposal to allow non-medical use of marijuana in Maine passed easily in the Senate last week, after earlier approval in the House. The bill passed by enough votes to override a veto in both chambers.
The bill is expected to go to LePage this week, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Under the proposal, Maine would tax non-medical marijuana use at an effective rate of 20 percent while medical marijuana would be taxed at just 5.5 percent, or 8 percent for medical edibles. There would also be separate sets of regulations for each use.
LePage vetoed a similar effort to add non-medical marijuana use to the state law last year, and said the separate regulations were the reason.
The governor’s concern remains the same with the new bill.
“My point is put it all under one. You don’t need medical anymore. If marijuana is legal, you can have medical, agricultural, retail, you can make beer with marijuana if you want. If it’s legal, it’s legal – so why do you need to have medical?” Lepage told WGME TV in Portland. LePage said he thinks people would find ways to get marijuana under the medical regulations anyway to avoid paying the higher tax.
Sponsors told the TV station that there need to be separate regulations because non-medical marijuana use has to remain off limits to children, while some children need to remain eligible to use cannabis for therapeutic reasons.