By Mike Daze | Bloomberg Salt Talk Blog
Maine made significant amendments to its medical marijuana law, including providing a deduction for medical marijuana-related business expenses otherwise prohibited by federal tax law, when the Maine Legislature voted July 9 to override Gov. Paul LePage’s (R) veto of L.D. 1539.
This is the second time the Legislature has overridden LePage’s veto of legislation regulating marijuana usage. As Aaron Nicodemus reported May 3 in the Daily Tax Report: State (subscription required), the Legislature voted May 2 to enact a bill regulating and taxing recreational marijuana sales, notwithstanding the governor’s objections.
The medical marijuana legislation allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients for any medical reason, increases the number of medical dispensary licenses that may be granted, and authorizes municipal regulation of certain medical marijuana businesses, particularly local retail operations. The Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine Trade Association supported the legislation because it also permits caregivers who grow and administer marijuana to private patients to expand their businesses by increasing the number of marijuana plants and seedlings a caregiver may cultivate and removing the limit on the number of assistants a caregiver may hire. The legislation also authorizes caregivers to operate one retail store and to organize their businesses as any type of legal business entity under Maine law.
I am so encouraged by the implementation of reasonable legislation that allows cannabis business owners to operate in the same manner and enjoy the benefits as any other business. While confined to the State of Maryland, this certainly helps the industry continue to move forward with the hope that other states (and eventually the federal government) will see the benefits of enacting reasonable business and tax legislation for the cannabis industry.