Maine: Lawmakers Overturn Governor’s Veto, Expand Medical Marijuana Access

Augusta, ME: Legislation significantly expanding patients’ access to medical cannabis will become law this fall after lawmakers on Monday decided to override a gubernatorial veto.

Members of the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to reject Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1539. The bill will become law 90 days after the conclusion of the 2018 special legislative session.

Under the new law, physicians will possess the discretion to recommend cannabis for any patient for whom they believe it will benefit. It also expands the total number of licensed medical dispensaries from eight to 14, earmarks funding for medical marijuana research, permits caregivers to oversee multiple patients, and licenses marijuana extraction facilities, among other changes.

An estimated 42,000 patients are currently certified with the state to use medical marijuana.

Governor LePage has a long history of opposing virtually all marijuana law reform legislation, and has previously vetoed numerous bills seeking to liberalize the state’s cannabis policies.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.