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Maine hemp growers have high hopes for new farm bill

Erica Haywood has high hopes for the proposed 2018 farm bill when it comes to industrial hemp production in Maine. Haywood, along with her husband, Jack, owns and operates LoveGrown Agriculture Research LLC, producing hemp CBD oil, teas and topical products in Farmington.


Gardiner to consider temporary ban on new medical marijuana shops

Gardiner officials are scheduled to consider on Wednesday whether to enact a temporary ban on allowing additional medical marijuana caregiver shops in the city.

“These places are springing up, and we’re trying to get a handle on the best way to regulate them,” Gardiner Mayor Thom Harnett said Monday. “This is an emergency proposal that’s retroactive to July 9. Anything not in the pipeline by then would be subject to the moratorium.”


Maine medical marijuana veto overturned by lawmakers standing up to Governor

State lawmakers in Maine overwhelmingly voted Monday to override Republican Governor Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that will allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients for any medical reason. 

The House voted 119-23 and the Senate 25-8 to overturn LePage’s veto with support from Democrats and Republicans.


Gov. LePage vetoes bill that would ease access to medical marijuana, listing 11 objections

About 42,000 Maine patients could benefit from legislation that revamps the caregiver system and removes some conditions for obtaining medical cards.

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a medical cannabis bill Friday that would allow doctors to certify patient use for any medical reason.

In a veto letter fired off late Friday afternoon, LePage, a staunch marijuana opponent, ticked off 11 reasons why he was vetoing the sweeping reform bill, ranging from complaints about the establishment of a medical marijuana research fund to licensing of dangerous extraction laboratories, noting his list of complaints was by no means exhaustive.


Neighboring states have loosened their pot laws, but marijuana is still illegal in NH

It’s the summer of weed for neighboring states that have legalized recreational marijuana. The road to New Hampshire, though, remains one big “pot” hole. Pot is still illegal here.

It’s a point underscored in an interview with Tuftonborough Police Chief Andrew Shagoury, president of the N.H. Association of Chiefs of Police.

He is anticipating an increase in marijuana-related hospital visits, youth pot smoking, and impaired driving in the Granite State. "It's going to spill over our borders," he says. (Scroll down for more on N.H. law, and the state's study of legalization.) So what's legal in neighoring states? Here's a snapshot.


Maine House and Senate approve sweeping reform of medical marijuana bill

The Maine Senate and House voted Tuesday night to pass a sweeping medical marijuana reform bill that overhauls the caregiver system.

The bill, which now goes to Gov.Paul LePage, would let caregivers expand their business operations. For example, they could hire more than one worker, and sell up to 30 percent of their harvest to other caregivers and dispensaries. In exchange, however, they would have to submit to more state oversight, like unannounced state inspections and seed-to-sale tracking.

The bill allows caregivers to open retail stores, letting them become mini dispensaries that can serve as many card-carrying patients as they can from 30 flowering marijuana plants, but only in towns that have authorized medical marijuana storefronts.


Maine Supreme Court: Workers’ compensation does not cover medical marijuana

Maine’s Supreme Court handed down a ruling today that the state’s workers’ compensation system does not cover the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The ruling is yet another instance where federal prohibition is creating problems for states with legal cannabis programs.

Tuesday’s ruling stems from a workers’ compensation case involving an employee with the Twin Rivers Paper Company, LLC. Gaetan H. Bourgoin suffered a back injury on the job with the company. Bourgoin then received a medical cannabis recommendation to treat the related back pain. An initial order required the company to pay for its employee’s medical marijuana. But the Supreme Court ultimately sided with the employer’s objections.


Florida company seeks federal permit to grow research cannabis in Maine

An investor with ties to the state has applied to build a facility and supply marijuana to a DEA program that's expanding cultivation sites.

A Florida company has applied for a federal permit to build a facility in Maine to grow cannabis used in government-sanctioned research.

Maridose LLC is one of 27 companies with an application pending before the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to grow cannabis for use by the 350 scientists across the country, including two in Maine, who have federal approval to study marijuana. For the past half-century, only the University of Mississippi could legally grow the pot used in federally sanctioned research.


Employment issues remain uncertain as Maine marijuana law moves forward

Maine was one of several US states where voters passed measures to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2016. Republican Governor Paul LePage has sought to stymie legalization by blocking implementing legislation.


Low unemployment rate leads to less testing for marijuana use

According to Friday’s federal report on non-farm payrolls, the unemployment rate in the United States has dropped to 3.9%. Among other things that means its getting harder for employers to find employees and that difficulty is leading to a drop in testing potential employees for marijuana use.

Even the Trump administration has mellowed somewhat. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta told a congressional hearing last month that “with all these Americans looking for work … are we aligning our … drug testing policies with what’s right for the workforce?”


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