Maine

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.

Thu
09
Nov

Maine: Medical marijuana caregivers are hit with a flurry of new state rules

Maine is cracking down on how caregivers grow and distribute medical marijuana, allowing surprise inspections and implementing a plant-to-patient tracking system.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules Wednesday that tighten Maine’s fast-growing and changing medical marijuana program. The department didn’t issue a statement on the rules, which take effect Feb. 1, and Maine’s medical marijuana community spent the day scanning the document trying to figure out which changes represent a new state policy and which ones are simply legislative housekeeping. The department didn’t reply to a request for comment.

Mon
06
Nov

Maine governor vetoes bill that would create market for legal marijuana

Maine Gov. Paul Lepage’s decision to veto a bill on Friday that would have built a recreational marijuana retail market is a major buzzkill for those in the state who voted to legalize the drug last year.

In his veto letter, LePage urged the Maine legislature to “sustain this veto” because he did not believe that the bill was satisfactory. The bill passed with enough votes to overturn a veto in the state Senate, but not the statehouse.

LePage said his greatest grievance is that he did not know how the Trump administration intended to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that legalized recreational marijuana.

Mon
30
Oct

States consider best ways to legalize recreational marijuana

A special legislative commission is looking into the potential effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island as the state's northern neighbor readies to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Bills to legalize and tax recreational marijuana in Rhode Island have stalled in previous legislative sessions. The General Assembly agreed in June to look into the issue further by creating the commission.

It met for the first time Wednesday.

Voters in Massachusetts approved legalizing the adult use of recreational marijuana in November. Massachusetts officials have been cautious about the rollout and sales have been delayed.

Mon
30
Oct

Highs and lows seen in Maine marijuana law delays

With the marijuana bill adopted by the Legislature last week facing a likely governor’s veto, some lawmakers say Maine could turn into the “wild, wild West” of marijuana.

Pot shops selling Snoopy-shaped edibles next to schools. Social clubs cropping up in bucolic village centers. The lowest pot tax in the country. Drive-up window sales.

Wed
25
Oct

Recreational marijuana is legal in these states—and Maine might be next

The governor of Maine has said he won't sign a just-passed bill that would legalize recreational marijuana, putting the Pine Tree State on the other side of a historic trend toward casual use of the drug.

Paul LePage opposes any bill that allowed Mainers to light up legally before 2019—and the bill that passed on Monday night did not have a veto-proof majority. 

If he vetoes the legal weed as expected, LePage is turning away from a ganja gold mine. Nevada, for example, generated more than $3.5 million in tax revenues in just the first month of its legalized pot—en route to an expected $120 million over two years.

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