AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov.
Paul LePage on Wednesday signed a bill that will allow people to use recreational marijuana in Maine in the wake of a sweeping legalization of marijuana in Washington state.
LePage, a Republican who has supported legalizing recreational use, signed the bill into law after it passed the state Senate and was sent to the House.
It now goes to the governor’s desk for signature.
The bill will allow Maine residents over 21 to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants at home.
The state would also begin regulating the cultivation of marijuana for adult use.
The bill, which also would allow the recreational use of marijuana, passed the Senate on a 34-10 vote on Tuesday.
The legislation is aimed at easing the state’s opioid crisis, which has seen more than 100,000 people die from overdoses since it began in the spring of 2018.
The drug has been used to treat conditions such as cancer, pain, nausea and vomiting.
The governor and the Democratic-led legislature are also pushing a bill to legalize the sale of marijuana at retail stores.
LeBar said his administration is committed to working with the Legislature on an orderly process for the implementation of the legislation.
“We’ve been working hard with legislators to get a bill passed and approved, and we will continue to work with them as we implement this important legislation,” LeBar said in a statement.
The measure, which is not a tax or a licensing program, also allows recreational marijuana use at state-licensed establishments.
Recreational marijuana, which would be taxed at 6 percent and subject to state rules, would be sold in state-regulated stores at licensed businesses, as well as at medical dispensaries.
Under the bill, recreational marijuana would be legal to buy and use at any recreational marijuana stores in Maine.
That includes a retail shop in the state capital, Augusta.
It would also be legal for recreational marijuana users to grow six plants and sell them to other adults for recreational use.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.