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Legal marijuana is replacing black market weed in this state


In Maine, marijuana consumers are turning to legal sources over the black market, an achievement for the state and for cannabis proponents.

Marijuana proponents argue that establishing a legal cannabis industry is an effective way of curbing black market marijuana and preventing its risks. While cannabis industries around the country are relatively new, and black market businesses have years of advantage over them, Maine appears to be reaping the benefits of the legal cannabis industry.

According to a new report from the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP), legal marijuana is impacting black market sales, and the “current illicit market has diminished more than expected.”


Rare cannabis research operation planned in Brunswick


Florida-based Maridose LLC has set up shop in TechPlace, a business incubator facility at Brunswick Landing and is seeking federal approval to grow pot for research.

A Florida-based research firm is in the final stages of obtaining a rare federal license to grow cannabis for medical research in Maine.

Maridose LLC is one of at least 37 companies that has applied to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to grow cannabis for federal research. There are only about 600 scientists across the country, including at least two in Maine, who have federal approval to study marijuana. 


How a Maine architect built a marijuana dispensary that breaks stereotypes


Once you’re in the door, there’s plenty of advice floating around about style, project management, budget and all the rest—but how do you actually get the job in the first place? We’re asking designers to peel back the curtain and walk us through how they landed a project, step by step. Here, Patrick Boothe, an architect and director of the commercial studio at Caleb Johnson Studio in Portland, Maine, discusses his work as the project manager on SeaWeed Co., a surprisingly beautiful marijuana dispensary in South Portland. Though citizens voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, the bill wasn’t signed into law until 2018 and sales didn’t begin until fall 2020—yet Boothe’s client wanted to press on with construction as soon as legislation was in motion.


Caribou bucks its neighbors to ban retail marijuana shops

couple smoking weed

While many neighboring communities have finalized or looked at creating their own retail marijuana regulations, the city of Caribou, ME, isn’t.

Any retail marijuana stores geared toward the general public, including those that only sell medical marijuana, cannot be developed within city limits.

Code Enforcement Officer Ken Murchison reviewed the city’s marijuana ordinance, which only allows nonprofit dispensaries and cultivation facilities registered for medical marijuana, when the Caribou Planning Board met recently.


A tribe in Maine is using hemp to remove 'forever chemicals' from the soil

water hemp

Can it work for PFAS-contaminated farms?

The pair was hardly dressed like typical farmers, but this was no typical farm. Sporting white hazmat suits and respirators, Chelli Stanley and Richard Silliboy lugged 5-gallon jugs of water toward bushy plots of hemp, each 30-by-30-foot patch a stark sign of order in the otherwise overgrown field. It was a warm September day in Limestone, a small town on the edge of the Maine-Canada border, and the pair struggled to breathe in the head-to-toe protective gear. Stanley, a founder of the environmental organization Upland Grassroots, recalls telling Silliboy, vice chief of the Aroostook Band of Micmac Nation, “This will be worth it someday.”


City approves first reading of recreational marijuana ordinance


The ordinance excludes retail sale of recreational marijuana.

City Council accepted the first reading of a recreational marijuana ordinance that excludes retail sales at its Dec. 7 meeting. Last summer Origins Cannabis approached the city about opening a cultivation facility at the old Moss Tent building.

The Planning Board drafted the ordinance in five separate meetings from September to November, including an October public hearing prompted by a request from the council in August. The state’s Marijuana Legalization Act requires towns to opt into the legislation. Towns can choose to opt in without an ordinance of their own or can create their own ordinance building on the legislation.


Inside an alleged marijuana conspiracy aided by law enforcement for cash and cars

police flashing lights

On the morning of July 21, 2020, more than a dozen police vehicles converged on Narrow Gauge Distributors, a medical marijuana cultivation business housed in a former shoe factory on High Street in Farmington.

By noon, investigators were tossing large marijuana plants pulled from the building into the back of a shipping container and hoisting boxes of evidence into a U-Haul truck. State and federal agents also were busy searching for and seizing marijuana, cash and firearms from other marijuana facilities and homes in western Maine.

For more than a year, federal authorities remained tight-lipped about why they had raided the buildings and what exactly they were investigating.


Dixfield town manager charged in illegal marijuana conspiracy has been fired

James McLamb, the town manager of Dixfield

The town manager in Dixfield is out of a job after he allegedly destroyed evidence in a multi-million-dollar illegal marijuana conspiracy.

Selectmen unanimously voted to terminate James McLamb.

He's accused of tipping off two former Franklin County Sheriff's deputies that were under investigation for their role in the operation and then destroying evidence.

He was serving as a deputy in the Oxford County Sheriff's Office at the time.

Eleven other people are named in the federal complaint. Lucas Sirois of Farmington is believed to be behind a massive criminal organization with ties to law enforcement


Police allegedly helped illegal multimillion-dollar marijuana operation

police and lights

PORTLAND, Maine - Two sheriff's deputies accepted new cars and an ownership stake in an operation that illegally sold more than $13 million in pot grown for Maine’s medical marijuana program, federal prosecutors said.

Two other law enforcement officers and a prosecutor aided the operation by providing intelligence and tipping off participants, prosecutors said.

Federal documents unsealed Wednesday when one of the defendants pleaded guilty revealed an elaborate program in which marijuana that was grown in western Maine for registered caregivers was sold outside the program, with profits being laundered through a corporate structure.


Cops, prosecutor and selectman among 13 charged in massive Maine pot operation

police lights

Thirteen people, including four former law enforcement officers, a prosecutor and a former selectman, have been charged in a conspiracy to use medical marijuana grow houses in western Maine to illegally sell $13 million of the drug in and out of Maine.

Court documents in the case were made public Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor after one of the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and distribute more than a ton of marijuana and 1,000 marijuana plants.


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