© 2024 Maine Public

Bangor Studio/Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Lewiston Studio
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Portland Studio
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Lawmakers Override Gov. LePage's Medical Marijuana Veto

Ted S. Warren
Associated Press
In this April 12, 2018, photo, nugs of marijuana await packaging at the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company near Shelton, Wash.

With near unanimous support, lawmakers overrode the Governor's veto Monday of the broad reform bill for the state's medical marijuana program.

Maine lawmakers have passed a bill that allows doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical marijuana to any patient they think would benefit, not just those with one of several "qualifying conditions." 

“Anybody with a doctor's recommendation for any condition where the doctor feels it would be helpful for that patient, could receive a recommendation to use medical cannabis,” says Eric Brakey, co-chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, which took up the changes.

Brakey says the new law will also give cities and towns more control over medical marijuana providers.

“Municipalities will have the opportunity to do zoning ordinances, and for businesses based out of people's homes to do home occupation permits,” says Brakey. “That really allows municipalities to work with these small businesses to make sure everyone's being a good neighbor.”

In his veto letter, Gov. Paul LePage gave 11 reasons for rejecting the bill, including one provision that he said would leave patients "vulnerable and the program open to potentially dangerous and violent criminals." He also said it would cost the government money and conflict with federal tax rules.

The bill becomes law 90 days after the Legislature's special session ends.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.