Maine legal pot sales plan clears another big hurdle
New rules on the sale and regulation of recreational marijuana appear on track to enactment following a strong vote endorsing them Wednesday in the Senate.
The Senate voted 24-10, with Democratic Sen. Dawn Hill of Cape Neddick absent, in favor of a bill that would move Maine toward a regulation and oversight system for the sale of marijuana for recreational use. The Senate vote comes on the heels of a strong House endorsement of the bill, 112-34. Both tallies are enough to override an expected gubernatorial veto unless too many lawmakers switch their votes.
Lawmakers have been struggling to find agreement on way to regulate retail marijuana sales since Maine voted in November 2016 to legalize recreational use.
The legislation sets an effective 20 percent tax rate on marijuana products, gives Maine residents a priority for commercial licenses and sets health and safety standards. It also reduces the number of flowering plants a person can posses from six in the version of the bill that failed after a gubernatorial veto last year to three. Lawmakers have said that change was what has pulled more support from House Republicans who sustained the veto last year.