Maine lawmakers overturn governor’s veto on medical marijuana bill

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Lawmakers in Maine overturned Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto on a bill to let doctors allow patients to use medical marijuana for any medical reason.

According to the Portland Press Herald, lawmakers in the Maine House of Representatives voted 119-23 to override the veto and the state’s Senate voted 25-8 to do the same on Monday.

The legislation also reportedly allows caregivers to expand their business operations, gives the state and municipalities more influence to regulate them, and grants six new medical dispensary licenses. 

“Maine’s medical cannabis program is already one of the best in the country,” state Sen. Eric Brakey (R), who helped to write the legislation as co-chairman of the state’s Health and Human Services Committee, told the newspaper.

“The passage of L.D. 1539 will make it even stronger. More access and choice for patients. More flexibility for legal businesses. And more integrity to the overall program,” he added.

{mosads}LePage, a vocal opponent of marijuana, said in a letter last Friday that he was rejecting the bill for 11 separate reasons, including its creation of a fund for medical marijuana research and because it allows dispensaries to become for-profit institutions.

The state’s lawmakers also reportedly overturned the governor’s veto on a separate bill that establishes a new type of license for manufacturers who produce medical marijuana extracts that are used in edibles and oils for patients who don’t want to smoke it.

The legislation is scheduled to become law 90 days after the legislative session ends, according to the newspaper.

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