Maine

Fri
19
Jan

Suit aims to protect Maine medical pot patients, growers from new regulations

A lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Bangor seeks to postpone or limit implementation of new rules governing the use of medical marijuana, claiming they violate the Constitution and patient privacy laws.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, names Commissioner Ricker Hamilton in its complaint against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Plaintiffs include state-licensed growers Justin Olsen and Nancy Shaw, who own the New World Organics medical marijuana storefront in Belfast. In addition, two anonymous plaintiffs are identified as medical marijuana patients.

Thu
11
Jan

Maine lawmakers trying to rein in large medical marijuana growers

State lawmakers want to overhaul Maine’s medical marijuana caregiver program.

On Wednesday, the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee held hearings on seven new medical cannabis bills, ranging from a plan to tax adult-use cannabis to pay for medical cannabis testing to a bill that would allow opioid addicts to qualify for medical cannabis certification.

Over and over again, lawmakers and even some caregivers admitted the network that was once based on a neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy had exploded in size and scale, warranting a new way to license and regulate an increasingly sophisticated industry.

Wed
10
Jan

Agreement reached on retail Marijuana in Maine, but it could be again delayed

A coalition of supporters and opponents of recreational marijuana says it has come up with a framework to regulate the drug in Maine. The announcement marks a possible path forward as legislators restart the process to create rules that affect how marijuana is tested, taxed and sold. But it also comes amid questions about the possibility of a federal crackdown.

Dozens of people crowded the hearing room Tuesday as the Legislature’s Marijuana Implementation Committee began work on a bill that could set up the regulatory structure for recreational cannabis.

But at the beginning of the hearing, Republican Sen. Roger Katz made it clear that another cloud looms over a process already complicated by competing financial and political interests.

Wed
03
Jan

These states could legalize recreational cannabis in 2018

As of January 1, California began allowing the sale of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. The move is expected to give a significant boost to California’s marijuana farmers, distributors, and retailers; an industry that analysts estimate will be worth around $7 billion within the next few years.

Although California started off the year with the most buzz around bud, it’s not the only state slated to legalize pot in 2018. The following states have either already legalized and are starting to transition into the commercial sale of weed, or are poised to let citizens legally toke.

New Jersey

Tue
02
Jan

Maine's regulated Marijuana market could still be saved

“Question 1 is not just bad for Maine, it can be deadly,” said state Governor Paul LePage in a warning to voters against approving a marijuana legalization measure. “We do not need to legalize another drug that could lead to more deaths.”

With the governor’s anti-cannabis rhetoric, it was no surprise when he vetoed a bill to regulate marijuana sales. It looked like the state might miss its deadline to set up a regulated market by February 1.

But now, state lawmakers are expressing hope that they could still pass a marijuana bill with LePage’s blessing. The legislative committee in charge of setting up a regulatory framework has set up a public hearing on a new bill for January 5 and is seeking a meeting with the governor in hopes of reaching a compromise.

Fri
22
Dec

Joy to the weed: Marijuana legalization comes bearing gifts

Peter Bernard’s Yuletide plans include dressing up in a tuxedo emblazoned with marijuana leaves, donning a green Santa hat and doling out cookie bars made with marijuana to his friends from a big pillowcase.

“That’s me exercising my right to give marijuana this Christmas,” said Bernard, a Taunton, Massachusetts, pot lover who heads the Massachusetts Growers Advocacy Council when not doubling as “Pot Santa” at events for weed enthusiasts.

Not everyone’s plans are quite so flamboyant, but for many pot lovers, this Christmas is much more about reefer than wreaths.

Gift-giving has long been a part of marijuana culture, and the drug’s newly legal status is a source of Yuletide celebration in four states.

Mon
18
Dec

Maine lawmakers face big Medicaid, marijuana decisions

Maine lawmakers are preparing for a 2018 session where Medicaid expansion and marijuana legalization are expected to take center stage.

The Legislature must figure out how to pay for Medicaid's eventual $54 million expansion. The sale of recreational marijuana is also set to become legal Feb. 1, even though lawmakers failed this year to put a licensing and regulatory structure in place.

Next year will be Republican Gov. Paul LePage's last full year in office, and he is continuing to chastise lawmakers for his biggest pet peeve: fiscal irresponsibility and laziness. He's threatened to not implement Medicaid expansion and recreational marijuana sales unless lawmakers fulfill his conditions.

Wed
22
Nov

10 Things from 2017 marijuana users should be thankful for

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, which is a day for Americans to get together with family and share all the things they’re thankful for from the past year, while also ignoring the somewhat troubling history of the holiday. For marijuana advocates, 2017 gave many reasons to be thankful, writes Joseph Misulonas. Here are 10 of the best:

1. Nevada Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Mon
20
Nov

Maine legislature has long to-do list when it returns in January

Lawmakers need to dispose of more than 400 bills, a job that could be complicated by the ambitions of several top lawmakers who are running for higher office.

State lawmakers will face a long list of bills when they return to work in January – including measures to fund Medicaid expansion and approve adult-use marijuana – in a second session with a high risk of grandstanding by those who are running for higher office in the November 2018 election.

More than 400 bills need action by the 128th Legislature. Among them are 319 that were held over from the first session, 63 new bills approved for consideration by legislative leaders and 41 bills submitted by the administration of Gov. Paul LePage.

Fri
10
Nov

Maine imposes strict new rules for medical marijuana dispensaries, caregivers

Medical marijuana caregivers in Maine must submit to surprise inspections and implement a new tracking system with their patients, according to strict new rules issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services, writes Tess Allen.

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