Maine Governor Proposes Pushing Back Legal Cannabis Sales Until 2019

FILE - This Sept. 22, 2017 file photo shows Maine Gov. Paul LePage attending a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss health care and tax reform in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington. LePage says the media fanned the flames in a flap with sheriffs over his directive they should hold immigrants without warrants and is calling news organizations "the most horrible organizations on the earth." The outburst came Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 after he summoned all 16 sheriffs to a closed-door meeting. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Republican governor is proposing that lawmakers consider simply delaying recreational marijuana sales, instead of passing a legislative re-write of the voter-approved marijuana law.

The Maine Legislature is set to return Monday to consider a re-write offered by a legislative committee handling marijuana implementation.

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Republican House Minority Leader Ken Fredette said he is sponsoring Gov. Paul LePage’s bill to delay recreational marijuana sales to January 2019. Lawmakers had previously pushed back implementation to February.

Fredette said there are concerns about the committee’s proposal and lawmakers having the time to read the 70-page bill, which would also delay sales until 2019.

Advocacy group Legalize Maine said the committee’s bill would make it harder to set up marijuana businesses. The bill would require towns to “opt in” to the adult-use marijuana market.