People roll a marijuana joint on the informal cannabis holiday, 4/20, corresponding to the numerical figure widely recognized within the cannabis subculture as a symbol for all things marijuana, on the Common in Boston, Massachusetts, April 20, 2017. Reuters

Vermont would have become the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana and the first to do so through the legislature rather than by a public vote. However, Phil Scott, the governor of Vermont, rejected the marijuana bill Wednesday as he wanted further changes in it, according to a press release.

Scott, a Republican, told reporters he was concerned about public safety and thus proposed changes such as more aggressive penalties for smoking pot while driving and tighter restrictions to keep pot out of the hands of minors, ABC News reported.

Read: Justin Trudeau Introduces Bill To Legalize Recreational Pot

"I am not philosophically opposed to ending the prohibition on marijuana, and I recognize there is a clear societal shift in that direction. However, I feel it is crucial that key questions and concerns involving public safety and health are addressed before moving forward," he said.

Scott also wanted to expand the state's Marijuana Regulatory Commission. He wanted the commission to include representatives from state departments of health, taxes and public safety, along with substance abuse and treatment, reports said.

Legalization supporters said that although they were disappointed with the governor's veto, they are positive about the way ahead. "We are disappointed by the governor’s decision to veto this widely supported legislation, but we are very encouraged by the governor’s offer to work with legislators to pass a legalization bill during the summer veto session," Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group, said in a statement.

"Most Vermonters want to end marijuana prohibition, and it is critical that the legislature respond by passing a revised legalization bill this summer. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and there is no good reason to continue treating responsible adult consumers like criminals," he added.

"We are all concerned about youth safety and roadside safety," said Laura Subin, director of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. We hope we can work with the governor and the legislature to come up with a proposal that reflects those priorities," she added.

Medical marijuana is already legal in Vermont, however, this bill would have opened a retail market for recreational marijuana in the state beginning July 2018. Marijuana sales in Vermont could have totaled $179 million by 2025 if the state had legalized recreational pot, CNN Money reported citing estimates from New Frontier Data, a company that analyzes the marijuana industry.

57 percent of Vermont voters support allowing 21 years and older ones to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, according to a statewide survey conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Out of 755 registered voters, only 39 percent opposed.

According to a recent survey, 60 percent of Americans support making recreational marijuana use legal and around 90% support medical marijuana.

Lawmakers are increasingly realizing public support for marijuana policy reforms. Bills have been filed in 34 states to rework on the failed marijuana policies. West Virginia became the 29th state with a comprehensive medical cannabis law April 19 when Gov. Jim Justice signed the Medical Cannabis Act, according to Marijuana Policy Project.