Marijuana was the big winner in the November vote, declaring victory for medical in Florida, Montana, North Dakota and Arkansas, while voters in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Cali said “yes” to recreational weed.
The call is Maine, however, was tight. So tight that voters are calling for a recount.
“The rare statewide recount could take more than a month to complete and cost $500,000. It started at 9 a.m. in the Florian Room of the Maine Department of Public Safety in Augusta.
Question 1, which appears to have passed by a slim margin, legalized recreational marijuana for adults. Opponents requested the recount after unofficial results showed the question passed by a margin of less than 1 percent. The marijuana question passed by 4,073 votes (381,692 to 377,619), according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s Office.
Opponents say that with such a slim vote margin and seriousness of the new law, it’s important to make sure the results are accurate. Supporters of legalization say a recount will not change the results and the focus should instead be on implementing the new law.”
Maine’s Question 1, is a marijuana legalization measure that will legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.
A medical marijuana program has been in place in Maine since 1999. Controversial Gov. Paul LePage was an ardent opponent of the initiative.
California’s law went into effect the day after the election. Nevada’s initiative will take effect on January 1st, and Massachusetts will take effect on December 15th. Under normal circumstances, Maine’s initiative would take effect 30 days after the election results were certified and signed off on by Maine’s Governor.
If the recount shows weed wins again, Maine is poised to make a lot of cash in tax revenue. The Alaska Department of Revenue estimates that it will receive $6 million in 2017 and $12 million in 2018 from marijuana sales. That is a huge jump from the an earlier projection of between $3.7 million and $7 million a year.