a

Israel and Canada are grabbing market share for medical marijuana research while the U.S. refuses to allow widespread studies.

Restricting the job pool in a tight labor market, particularly in states with marijuana laws,
just isn’t good business, some say.

The Burlington Free Press reports lawmakers are currently considering a bill that could allow cities and towns to classify marijuana odor as a “public nuisance” and a ticketable offense.

Voters passed a moratorium ordinance on retail recreational marijuana sales for 180 days, or until the state approves regulations for retail sales.

The Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey said the percentage of students who think smoking pot presents a low risk to health rose from 67.6 in 2015 to 70.7 in 2017.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agents executed more than 20 search warrants, targeting what the U.S. Attorney’s Office says is a drug trafficking organization operating under the cover of Maine’s medical marijuana program. Read more.

Maine’s medical marijuana program would undergo sweeping changes under a bill approved Wednesday by the Legislature’s health and human services committee, including increasing the number of dispensary licenses

Lawmakers say the practice is illegal, but law enforcement pays it little mind as gifting businesses spring up in the absence of state-sanctioned retail rules

The edibles, produced in California, would sell for about $50 a packet in Connecticut – double their West Coast price

Hydropothecary Corp. plans to be “one of the two to three multinational companies still standing in five years.”

The Colombian brand 'already has a mystique, and now, for the first time, it has strong government support as well.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is more focused on drug gangs than on cracking down in states with legal marijuana. Read More

Councilors are poised to extend a moratorium on adult marijuana use, retail shops and social clubs until Sept. 27.

Girl Scout cookies sell fast at marijuana dispensary. Two sisters from Lewiston unload 85 boxes in just a few hours

A new medical cannabis reform bill is drawing mixed reviews from Maine’s caregiver network – the 3,000-strong mom-and-pop side of the state’s $50 million industry. Read more.

For many marijuana users, it’s a joint unlike any other in the country

California's wild northwest coast, where tens of thousands of people have been breaking the law for years, is being upended by pot’s cultural transformation. Read more.

Inexperienced users who want to dabble, especially with edibles, owe it to themselves to get educated.

Maybe Ricky Williams, who retired after league-imposed drug penalties, was just ahead of his time.

Future Farm Maine previously acquired 120 acres of farmland in Aroostook County

Hear panelists talk about budding opportunities. More than 100 people attended the Press Herald event

The show features about 20 minutes of talk spread over an hour with a special guest each week

Marijuana-friendly states want meeting with Sessions

State treasurers write a letter appealing to the U.S. attorney general to help resolve conflicts between federal and state laws. Read more.

One research firm forecasts legal cannabis will be a $75 billion industry in 12 years

Supporters are wary of drawing scrutiny from the federal government and say transporting pot through communities that forbid its sale raises legal questions

More than 200 applications are submitted in the first day of the state’s ‘priority certification’ period.

Businesses that specialize in supporting the wine industry believe they are uniquely positioned to help pot retailers

The service lists illegal operators alongside legal ones creating ‘an unfair playing field,’ the state says, since illegal sellers can afford to charge less

Researchers find that Medicare patients in states with marijuana dispensaries fill prescriptions less often than in other states.

A local entrepreneur has signed a 10-year lease for 500 Main St. near the Rockland Ferry Terminal

Staff at the Bangor center reported feelings of marijuana intoxication, but tests come back normal.

The measure would preserve the town's ability to make a final decision on retail sales once the state law becomes clear. Read more.

Lawmakers nail down the final details of a bill governing recreational marijuana sales, which now heads to the House. Read more.

Fake marijuana likely contaminated with rat poison has killed three people in Illinois and caused severe bleeding in more than 100 others, including a few in four other states. Read more.

THC on tap

April 9, 2018

Blue Moon brewer plans new beer with weed instead of alcohol. One big advantage to a weed beer could be its mitigation of hangovers

Local, state and federal taxes are a big reason why, in California and other states, only a small percentage of cannabis growers and retailers have chosen to get licensed and come out of the shadows. Read more.

Three city councilors from Peabody, Massachusetts, toured two Maine medical marijuana dispensaries run by Wellness Connection, which is seeking state approval to open a shop in Peabody. Read more.

Like many other Maine communities, Topsham is debating whether to allow recreational retail sales. The town will take up a proposed ordinance in May. Read more.

The move delays creation of stores and production facilities for at least six months as statewide regulations are worked out

Big names Boehner and Weld join board of Wellness Connection

April 10, 2018

The two former politicians join Acreage Holdings, parent of Wellness Connection. Both Republicans say they've never tried the stuff. Read more.

The latest bid to launch Maine’s adult-use marijuana market cleared its toughest political hurdle Tuesday with a veto-proof margin that bodes well for the compromise bill. Read more.

The compromise bill passed with a veto-proof margin, 24-10, one day after being approved by a 112-34 margin in the House, the chamber that killed a more liberal version of the bill last year by sustaining Gov. Paul LePage’s veto. Read more.

Two of the most conservative states in the country are considering allowing medical marijuana, further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing in the United States.

HP said it sold hardware to software firm Flowhub, which is launching a new point-of-sale hardware and software package specifically designed for the marijuana industry.

Marijuana cultivation subjects California forests to a barrage of environmental assaults: soil erosion, heavy pesticide use, stream diversion, irresponsible grading and land clearing, all of which threaten to lay waste to the redwoods.

President Trump has promised to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug, a move that could lift a threat to the industry made by the U.S. attorney general just three months ago

A 90-day moratorium put in place by Lisbon councilors in January is set to expire, but a new ordinance is ready for adoption.

The Town Council extended a 60-day moratorium approved in February to give the town time to draft an ordinance regulating places that sell medical marijuana.

Marijuana advocate Donny Christen on Monday told supporters outside the Somerset County Courthouse to keep up the fight for free access to pot and to work to change the laws in Augusta

The Maine Legislature has sent a bill to launch the adult-use marijuana market to Gov. Paul LePage, who has 10 days to sign it, allow the bill to go into law without his signature, or use his veto to try to kill it, which is what he has vowed to do.

The bill endorsed by lawmakers would tax retail sales at 10 percent and reduce the cap on the number of plants grown for personal use to three

Maine lawmakers writing the rules don't want to allow gathering spots for pot users until another state goes first. They also reject sharing cannabis tax revenues with towns

Tourists catching a flight can now dump their leftover legal pot in metal containers set up at the airport.

The plaintiffs argued pot is misclassified because it has medical benefits. The judge did not address that question, but said changes should first be pursued through the DEA

Here are the adopted rules for the Maine medical cannabis program they will be effective February 1st 2018 please review and read Mmcm will be having an informational on the 18th to answer any questions or concerns. Please forward any questions and concerns to the trade Association as we will be working with the department to get answers for you. Send your questions to mmcmaine@gmail.com

With retail sales growing closer in Maine, the Maine Cannabis Convention draws about 40 more exhibitors this year. April Lee made a beeline for Brian Bair’s Wolf Enterprises professional financial services booth at the New England Cannabis Network’s Maine Cannabis Convention on Saturday morning in Portland.

Lee, who had driven up from her home in Carlstadt, New Jersey, to attend the two-day event, started peppering the York financial adviser with questions about the tax implications of setting up her own stable of cannabis businesses – something she is planning to do as soon as her state approves recreational marijuana.

“I want to do everything, from soup to nuts, from growing, to security to puff lounges. I’ve already lined up multiple LLCs,” said Lee, a grant consultant who expressed confidence that New Jersey will legalize recreational marijuana use as soon as Gov. Chris Christie leaves office.

The state office that oversees public health programs is getting a new leader. Dr. Bruce Bates, an osteopathic doctor who taught at the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, will start work Monday as director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bates confirmed the appointment Thursday in an email to the BDN.

Bates held a number of positions during his career at UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Maine’s only medical school. He served as chair of the college’s department of family practice, as the founding chair of the department of geriatric medicine, and as associate dean for clinical services, according to his LinkedIn profile and UNE news releases.

The committee that's drafting regulations for Maine's legal recreational market endorses the bill 13-2, but some lawmakers are concerned about Gov. LePage's opposition to legalization.

A legislative committee completed a sweeping rewrite of Maine’s recreational marijuana law Thursday that would double the tax rate, provide a cut to host towns and give Maine residents a two-year head start in the market.

Medical cannabis caregivers turn out in force to urge changes to Maine's Marijuana Legalization Act to prevent adult-use laws from interfering with their program.

AUGUSTA — Lawmakers heard a familiar chorus of impassioned concerns about license preferences, tax rates and local control at an emotional, standing-room-only hearing on a proposed rewrite of Maine’s recreational marijuana law Tuesday.

The owner of a head shop and hookah lounge in downtown Bangor is facing federal drug and money laundering charges.

Christopher Ruhlin, 48, of Holden, owner of Herbal Tea & Tobacco, located at 44 Main St., and his employee, Terrence Sawtelle, 48, of Bangor, were indicted Sept. 14 by a federal grand jury on one count each of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana.

Maine won’t make its February deadline for beginning the sale of recreational marijuana and won’t be ready to do so until next summer, at the earliest, according to the committee tasked with implementing legalization.

A special legislative commission finished its preliminary work on how Mainers can grow, sell and buy recreational marijuana Tuesday, tackling issues ranging from licensing fees to tax rates to consumer protections. Now analysts will turn months of committee straw votes into the draft bill that will go to a public hearing next month and a full legislative vote in October.

About 100 people attend the meeting to speak against proposed rules that would tighten the oversight of those who cultivate of medical cannabis.

Two years ago, doctors found a brain tumor in Michelle Caminos’ 2-year-old son that persisted despite surgeries, radiation and chemo.

The Waterville higher-education consultant was desperate when she asked the neurosurgeon about cannabis. He told her it would be “almost irresponsible to not try it,” she said. She reached out to the Maine caregiver community and quickly found a nurse practitioner and a specialist, Dr. Dustin Sulak, with experience in pediatric cancer. Within six months, all evidence of the disease is gone, she said.

“Without the caregiver community, none of this would be possible, I don’t even know if my son would be here,” Caminos said.

We now know that the reason that cannabis is so miraculously able to address so many different human ailments and provide so many useful applications as hemp is because it actually evolved with us over time in a process called co-evolution. In fact, according to Michael Pollan, the NYT bestselling author of The Botany of Desire, cannabis has been so changed by its 15,000 years of coevolution with us that a wild version of the plant simply does not exist anymore.

Providers and patients who grow their own pot worry that the new rules could cost them their license or even their freedom.

Maine is proposing new medical cannabis rules that would tighten oversight of caregivers and patients who grow their own plants.

Under the proposal, caregivers and patients who grow their own marijuana would have to submit to unannounced inspections by state enforcement agents if the Department of Health and Human Services had received a complaint of violation, and if they refused – as some do without consequences under current law – they could face suspension or revocation of their state license, civil fines or even referral to law enforcement.

Harm reduction is a strategy for treating addiction that begins with acceptance. A friendlier, less disciplined sister of abstinence, this philosophy aims to reduce the overall level of drug use among people who are unable or simply unwilling to stop. What should naturally follow is a decrease in the many negative consequences of drug use.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Maine man has been taken off a kidney transplant wait list for using medical cannabis.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit Maine hospitals from doing that, even though one local hospital said there are medical reasons to disqualify patients who use marijuana.

Garry Godfrey has Alport syndrome, a hereditary disease that causes renal failure at a young age. He said it also causes debilitating pain, nausea and anxiety.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s largest medical cannabis dispensary group is behind legislation that would allow dispensaries to sell into the state’s impending recreational market as rules for a wider distribution system are crafted.

The move could give Maine’s eight dispensaries a leg up in the new market, but it’s already being dubbed a “money grab” by a top advocate for caregivers — the home-growing rival constituency in the medical cannabis system — and a top anti-marijuana advocate also opposes it.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Enactment votes on a bill that would delay portions of Maine’s new recreational marijuana law could come early next week after a unanimous committee vote in favor of the bill Thursday.

The Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted 12-0 in favor of LD 88, with amendments, after hours of testimony and deliberations devoted to the issue this week.

The bill does not change the date that the use and possession of marijuana will be legal in Maine — Jan. 30 — but extends the window for lawmakers and the executive branch to develop rules around a range of issues associated with the sale and regulation of pot.

More than $140,000 has already been spent in the state as stakeholders seek a voice in how lawmakers regulate the lucrative recreational industry.

Retail sales of marijuana may still be a year away, but cannabis-related cash is already flowing at the Maine State House as businesses jockey to influence the policies that will govern the lucrative recreational market.

Between Dec. 1 and March 31, clients paid lobbyists more than $140,000 for representation on marijuana-related issues in Augusta even though lawmakers have only taken up a handful of the roughly 50 bills connected to the drug.

Chart: With recreational marijuana sales on the horizon, Maine’s MMJ program surges
By Eli McVey

Maine’s medical cannabis program is on fire, with the number of MMJ patients surging in the past year.

While this can be said for many MMJ programs across the country, such a dramatic increase in a market as mature as Maine’s suggests something more may be at play.

It’s been a long time coming — the idea of discussing marijuana as a part of recovery from substance use issues. I’ve been waiting decades.

I remember being lectured by my clinicians that using marijuana was substituting one drug for my previous substance abuse. I used to try to tell them that even if they wanted to look at it that way, which I didn’t, my actions would at least be seen as a safe consolidation rather than substitution.

Following that line of thinking, I was consolidating my poly-substance abuse of potentially deadly substances into the use of one non-lethal plant. Either way, it felt like progress to me.

NECC

April 22, 2017

Catherine Lewis President of MMCM openening speaker at NECANN

Months after Massachusetts voters voted to broadly legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults over the age of 21, the New England Cannabis Convention is returning to Boston.

Set to take place at the Hynes Convention Center on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23. Smoking, dabbing or vaping is not allowed anywhere inside the convention center, organizers say.

I hate it when that happens. I heard tell that Gov. Paul LePage had been spreading some misinformation about the medical cannabis program in an interview with WVOM last Tuesday.

Of course I immediately thought he was throwing yet another slow pitch right up the middle of the plate so I went to the audio archive (Governor LePage, 4/11) ready to take a swing.

Observers link the 2016 increase to gaining experience in advance of recreational-use sales and to more interest in cannabis for treating chronic pain.
The number of licensed medical cannabis growers jumped by 42 percent last year and existing caregivers took on thousands of additional patients, continuing the expansion of a cottage cannabis industry that has flourished in Maine over the past five years.

The continued growth of the medical program comes as state lawmakers set up a regulatory system to oversee a new adult-use cannabis retail market expected to open early next year. Industry insiders say the growth of the medical program in 2016 – which included nearly 1,000 new caregivers – is due in part to the passage of a recreational marijuana law, but also shows Mainers are increasingly turning to cannabis to treat chronic pain and other illnesses.

WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Banks and credit unions are keeping their distance from the marijuana industry because the federal government still considers marijuana illegal.

Legal marijuana businesses can’t accept credit cards, they can’t secure bank loans or get any other business services provided by financial institutions, making them cash-only operations. Bankers in Maine say it’s frustrating because they’re losing out on a big opportunity to profit as well.

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

More pregnant women are using marijuana to quell their morning sickness according to a study released by the Journal for the American Medical Association on 12/21.

The study states in 2014, 3.85 percent women reported using marijuana in the past month, compared to 2.37 percent in 2002.

Good morning from Augusta, where Gov. Paul LePage continued his push for changes to referendum questions passed by Maine voters in November by calling for an end to the state’s medical cannabis program on WGAN on Thursday.

Since the election, the Republican governor has mostly called upon the Maine Legislature to alter ballot initiatives that will levy a 3 percent surtax on income over $200,000 to increase aid to education and raise the hourly minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

BOSTON >> Having proven they can win in the West, advocates for recreational marijuana hope the Nov. 8 election brings their first significant electoral victories in the densely populated Northeast, where voters in Massachusetts and Maine will consider making pot legal for all adults.

FORT KENT, Maine — Approximately 15 people attended a public meeting Friday, Oct. 14 at the Fort Kent Knights of Columbus Hall, which a local medical cannabis grower/caregiver and the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine (MMCM) hosted.

Steve Rusnack, a local permitted caregiver who can legally grow marijuana for up to five patients, said it was his idea to have a public meeting and invite community members, law enforcement and town officials.

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine — With the election a month away, marijuana advocates are airing television ads in an effort to overcome resistance from law enforcement groups, concerned parents and some members of the medical cannabis community to get recreational use of marijuana approved in the state.

Pro-marijuana forces hope Maine and Massachusetts will become the first two states in New England — and the East Coast — to legalize pot on Nov. 8 for more than medical use.

One of the big questions raised by the ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in Maine is what effect it will have on the state’s medical cannabis program and the mom-and-pop economy it has created.

Currently, there are nearly 3,000 registered caregivers operating as small businesses and eight dispensaries growing and selling marijuana to more than 24,000 certified patients.

The city council of Saco, Maine, is mulling a ban on caregivers being able to grow medical cannabis in their homes.

Councilors want new zoning ordinances that would disallow in-home marijuana growth for new caregivers who are authorized to grow it. Council members would rather growing operations take place in the city’s industrial district, according to Portland Press Herald Monday.

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — The debate over whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine took center stage at an event that bills itself as New England’s largest cannabis trade show.

Home Grown Maine 2016, a major event for growers, vendors and patients of medical cannabis, took place at the Augusta Civic Center in Maine’s capital city on June 4-5, 2016. The trade show happened about five months before residents will vote on whether to make recreational use of marijuana legal in the state.

Cannabis treats addiction to dangerous opioids like heroin, Oxycontin, or even meth, simply by acting as a far less dangerous substitute. In addition, as it weans addicts off the hard stuff it soothes their bodies through the horrible pains of intense withdrawals. Several treatment facilities in legal states, including California and Massachusetts, have noted success with the substitution, and even D.A.R.E. has removed it from the list of gateway drugs it teaches about in school and youth anti-drug campaigns.

That’s total BS, right? But what if it wasn’t? After all, that is what we all want for each other. But at the same time, how many of us know couples who make it through all the hard stuff to get there?

I think I may have found a couple who have found their piece of that fairy tale thing.

It’s just that the twist of fate that brought this couple there didn’t come in the form of a magic kiss or glass shoe. It was a plant.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The former spokesman for the Maine Medical Caregivers Association is launching a statewide campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016. But Paul T. McCarrier's new group expects to face some competition from the Washington D.C,.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which has backed legalization efforts in other states.

Two years ago, Sharon Gagne of Greenbush discovered she had two herniated disks in her neck. Her doctor told her surgery was not an option and instead encouraged physical therapy and prescribed a painkiller.

“I didn’t like that,” she said. “I know too many people who got hooked.”

Maine has allowed prescribing, and limited possession, of medical cannabis since 1999 but the law lacked any distribution mechanism and questions arose of noncompliance with federal law and of how patients could legally obtain the prescribed marijuana.

Catherine Lewis of Homegrown Healthcare and president of the board of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine gave an interview on WVOM on Thursday 4/14/17. Lewis was responding to a previous interview Governor Paul LePage gave earlier in the week in which he supplied incorrect data about caregivers and the medical cannabis program in Maine. Lewis was an articulate advocate in her interview with George Hale and Ric Tyler, and she ended the interview with an invitation for Governor LePage to come to a roundtable of patients and caregivers.

At least for now, the DOJ is likely to be barred from going after pot growers, sellers and users in states where medical cannabis is legal.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the bogey man to many in the nation's burgeoning marijuana industry. Many pot entrepreneurs fear that the nation's top law enforcement officer – who once said "good people don't smoke pot" – will use the full force of the federal government to raid their businesses, even though the majority of U.S. voters support legal or recreational marijuana.

A split inside the medical cannabis community in Maine has spurred debate about the impacts of a ballot measure to legalize and regulate marijuana before voters Nov. 8

Some favor legalization to ensure adults have access to marijuana, even those who seek it for medical purposes but do not qualify for medicinal use now, to use it without fear of criminal repercussion. Others are concerned the current law, as written, could weaken the medicinal marijuana program for caregivers and patients.

About 1,500 people attend the Portland Cannabis Convention, the largest such event in New England. New England’s largest medical cannabis convention opened Saturday in Portland with advocates and experts applauding Maine’s strong medical cannabis program while also emphasizing the need to ensure it continues to serve patients well. New England’s largest medical cannabis convention opened Saturday in Portland with advocates and experts applauding Maine’s strong medical cannabis program while also emphasizing the need to ensure it continues to serve patients well. The Portland Cannabis Convention, put on by the New England Cannabis Network, brought together patients, caregivers and businesses that serve the medical cannabis industry.

Three medical cannabis growing operations in Maine have been targeted by thieves in the last two weeks, leaving one grower hospitalized with injuries.

The crime spree is now raising questions about the security around grow sites and the safety of the people who farm them.

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A marijuana convention drew thousands of people to the University of Southern Maine campus on Saturday.

The Portland Cannabis Convention, hosted by the New England Cannabis Network, displayed 65 vendors and 50 speakers from across the country.

As the number of medical cannabis caregivers accelerates in Maine, frightened inhabitants and metropolitan authorities are attempting to figure out how they can be managed. State law, be that as it may, is muddling endeavors to utilize nearby zoning rules or different regulations to police such operations, and some civil authorities are reluctant about violating their power.

Tuesday night the city of Saco is holding a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would put restrictions on where commercial medical cannabis caregivers can be located.

The ordinance would require all new commercial medical cannabis caregivers to operate their business in one of Saco’s industrial zones as opposed to out of their residences.

Over 100 of top local and national industry experts: Doctors, Lawyers, Security experts, Master Growers, Lighting experts, soil makers, organic product producers, healers, investors, builders, marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners. You will talk to, and learn from, the best of the best: the true movers and shakers in the fastest growing industry in the world!

WINTHROP, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Catherine Lewis runs a business in Winthrop called Homegrown Healthcare. She's been educating medicinal users about marijuana since 2012. She's now opening up her learning center to people interested in recreational use.

We asked her what are the most frequently asked questions she gets.

Now that retail recreational marijuana has advanced, how will medical caregivers prepare for retail competition? How will investors get involved in the market, and what kind of opportunities could open for supply chain vendors? These and other questions will be explored at this free forum.

Trade Show and Expo

June 2-3, Augusta Civic Center

Trade show includes vendors and professionals from various sectors of the medical cannabis field, as well as educational workshops and lectures.