Tag: Maine

Maine Governor Proposes Pushing Back Legal Cannabis Sales Until 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Republican governor is proposing that lawmakers consider simply delaying recreational marijuana sales, instead of passing a legislative re-write of the voter-approved marijuana law.

The Maine Legislature is set to return Monday to consider a re-write offered by a legislative committee handling marijuana implementation.

RELATED STORY

Maine Lawmakers Leave Key Cannabis Questions Unanswered

Republican House Minority Leader Ken Fredette said he is sponsoring Gov. Paul LePage’s bill to delay recreational marijuana sales to January 2019. Lawmakers had previously pushed back implementation to February.

Fredette said there are concerns about the committee’s proposal and lawmakers having the time to read the 70-page bill, which would also delay sales until 2019.

Advocacy group Legalize Maine said the committee’s bill would make it harder to set up marijuana businesses. The bill would require towns to “opt in” to the adult-use marijuana market.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

A Marijuana Drive-Through Could Be Coming to a Corner Near You

Voters in Maine narrowly approved marijuana legalization last November, and since then, the state legislature has been busily trying to come up with rules and regulations for the legal weed market. Now, they are envisioning something of a rarity: allowing customers to buy their weed at drive-up windows.

Of the five states that currently allow legal adult marijuana sales — Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — only Oregon and Colorado allow for drive-through sales. California, where sales are set to begin January 1, had drive-through sales written into draft regulations, but those proposed regs have had to be pulled and rewritten to comply with a state law merging the recreational and medical markets. Still, drive-through sales may survive the regulatory process there. Massachusetts hasn’t directly addressed the issue, leaving it up to its Cannabis Control Commission to figure out before the state begins sales next summer.

For a measure whose mantra was “treat marijuana like alcohol,” allowing drive-through pot sales seems like a no-brainer.

“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project told the Portland Press Herald. “The voters want it regulated and taxed like alcohol. The rules should be the same.”

But it’s not a done deal yet. The legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation is still considering the draft bill, and the coming week will be crucial. The bill gets a public hearing Tuesday and legislative debate is set for Wednesday and Thursday. If the committee approves it, it goes before the full legislature next month.

Drive-through sales is one of a subset of non-storefront sales possibilities facing legal pot regulators. Sales by delivery services and online sales are additional bones of contention. The proposed Maine legislation would allow both of those, too, but not all the other legal states do.

It is a sign of significant progress, or course, that the debate has shifted from how hard to punish pot smokers and dealers to how best to accommodate and regulate legal marijuana. But legal marijuana still has a ways to go before we can say it is treated like alcohol.


This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

Tags: , , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

‘Hello! Thanks for Visiting Maine. May I Take Your Cannabis Order?’

In Maine, as in certain other U.S. states, adults can buy beer at a drive-through as if they were buying hamburgers at McDonalds. Now Maine is considering extending drive-through privileges to cannabis.

First reported by the Press Herald, Maine’s proposed cannabis regulations would establish a system where adults 21 and older could purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries through a drive-thru window, as well as being able to purchase cannabis over the internet.

RELATED STORY

Maine Insurer Says It Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Medical Marijuana

The proposed regulations earned praise from cannabis advocates like David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project.

“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” Boyer told the Press Herald’s Penelope Overton. “The voters want it regulated and taxed like alcohol. The rules should be the same.”

RELATED STORY

Maine Lawmakers Leave Key Cannabis Questions Unanswered

However, some state officials oppose the regulations, out of fear that drive-through and online sales will increase chances of cannabis ending up in the hands of minors.

“Given the fact that about half the people in the state voted against legalization, I think we ought to go slow and be cautious in the beginning,” Republican Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta told the Press Herald. (Katz adds that there is still a long way to go, and he fully supports the legislative process.)

RELATED STORY

Maine Dispensary’s Offer: Clean Up Trash, Get Free Cannabis

The committee’s bill—which would also set up a 20% sales tax rate for recreational cannabis sales—will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, Sep. 26, at 9 am EST, at Room 228 at the State House in Augusta. The committee will then reconvene on Sept. 27 and 28 to discuss the bill. If approved, the full Legislature will likely consider it next month.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Insurer Says It Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Medical Marijuana

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine supreme court on Wednesday began considering whether a paper millworker left suicidal by narcotic painkillers should receive workers’ compensation for medical marijuana.

It’s the first time the court has considered the question of insurance reimbursement for medical marijuana.

Madawaska resident Gaetan Bourgoin won a ruling from the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board two years ago saying the paper mill’s insurer must reimburse him for medical marijuana. He contends marijuana is cheaper and safer than narcotics.

RELATED STORY

California Asks Major Insurance Carriers to Cover Cannabis Industry

But Twin Rivers Paper Co. and its insurer appealed the ruling, arguing that paying for cannabis use, even for medical purposes, could expose the companies to prosecution since marijuana still is illegal at the federal level.

“Opioids are killing people every day in Maine.”

Justice Donald Alexander, Maine Supreme Judicial Court

With medical marijuana legal in Washington, D.C. and 29 states, insurers across the country have been confronted with the same dilemma. Uneven state laws on reimbursement further complicate the issue.

Five states — Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Mexico — have found medical marijuana treatment is reimbursable under their workers compensation laws, according to the National Council for Compensation Insurance. Florida and North Dakota, meanwhile, passed laws this year excluding medical marijuana treatment from workers’ compensation reimbursement.

Members of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court posed hypotheticals to the attorneys arguing the case. One asked Bourgoin’s attorney what he’d do if a client needed cocaine for pain treatment, and another asked Twin Rivers’ attorney whether she believes the federal government will start prosecuting insurers for medical marijuana reimbursement.

RELATED STORY

The Biology of Cannabis vs. Opioids for Pain Relief

Justice Donald Alexander repeatedly questioned whether marijuana use should remain illegal under federal law and contrasted the drug with opioid-based painkillers, which he said drug companies have lobbied Congress to protect.

“Opioids are killing people every day in Maine,” he said.

Bourgoin’s case dates to 1989, when he hurt his back as a 29-year-old at the paper mill now known as Twin Rivers.

His attorney, Norman Trask, said Bourgoin pays for medical marijuana out-of-pocket and receives reimbursement from Twin Rivers’ insurer. Bourgoin previously took opioid-based painkillers, which caused other problems.

“At one point he was on such high dosages that they were concerned about his oxygen levels at night,” Trask said. “He became suicidal.”

RELATED STORY

Jeff Sessions Asks Congress to End Medical Cannabis Protections

Twin Rivers attorney Anne-Marie Storey said paying for medical marijuana puts the company in violation of federal law. The company contends that Maine’s medical marijuana law does not explicitly require an insurer to cover the cost of medical marijuana.

“This is not a case about making judgment over whether someone should use or not use marijuana as a matter of personal choice,” she said. There’s a scarcity of research on medical marijuana, and “nobody knows” how safe it is, she said.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Lawmakers Propose 20% Sales Tax on Adult-Use Cannabis

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers want to double the recreational marijuana sales tax to 20 percent.

The Legislature’s marijuana legalization committee will consider the issue at a Sept. 26 public hearing. Lawmakers say they’ll likely postpone legalization of recreational marijuana sales past February.

The committee had supported adding a 10 percent excise tax on business owners who sell marijuana on top of the 10 percent sales tax. A draft marijuana bill released Tuesday calls for a 20 percent sales tax.

RELATED STORY

Maine Lawmakers Leave Key Cannabis Questions Unanswered

Committee co-chair Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce said the tweak was due to the committee’s lack of taxing expertise. She said an excise tax could allow more predictability.

Legalize Maine President Paul McCarrier said tax hikes will empower the black market. He said Maine would get the most tax revenue from a sales tax.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Lawmakers Want to Change Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Law

Maine Lawmakers Want to Change Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Law | NORML

AUGUSTA, ME — Members of a special legislative committee have called for changes in the state’s voter-initiated adult use marijuana law prior to its full implementation. The full legislature is expected to debate the proposed changes as an emergency bill during a special session this October. Maine voters narrowly approved The Marijuana Legalization Act in November. Provisions in the law […]

Maine Lawmakers Want to Change Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Law | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Lawmakers Leave Key Cannabis Questions Unanswered

Maine lawmakers adjourned Aug. 2, leaving important questions about the state’s new adult-use cannabis program unresolved. Whether the work continues later this year during a special session or ends up waiting until the legislative session begins in January, there are many key decisions to be made.

Some of the main things still left on the table, the Bangor Daily News reports, involve making rules for the state’s adult-use retail market, implementing laboratory testing procedures, hammering out tax rates, and establishing regulations for both commercial and home cultivation.

RELATED STORY

Maine Panel Mulls Doubling 10% Tax on Cannabis

In short, state lawmakers have yet to address numerous issues that are fundamental to the smooth operation of a legal cannabis market.

A special committee working on cannabis implementation has been meeting for months—one of the few committees still working after the Legislature was adjourned. Lawmakers have already pushed back implementation of the sales and regulatory system, delaying it until three months after the original date of February 2018.

RELATED STORY

Maine Dispensary’s Offer: Clean Up Trash, Get Free Cannabis

The committee has made some progress, having reached a preliminary decision capping the number of mature plants that individuals can legally possess. No decisions have be made final.

Currently, there are still 31 cannabis-related bills awaiting consideration, according to the Bangor Daily News, many of which could end up in a single omnibus proposal. All told, lawmakers carried more than 340 bills into January.

RELATED STORY

Maine Wants Advice on How to Regulate Cannabis


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Cannabis Law Could Change Employers’ Drug-Testing Practices

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Department of Labor says the majority of businesses won’t be able to fire an employee for a marijuana-positive drug tests unless they can prove impairment on the job.

RELATED STORY

Maine Panel Mulls Doubling 10% Tax on Cannabis

Backers of the marijuana referendum said the law that goes into effect in February would leave employer protections in place and allow them to maintain drug-free workplace policies.

The Portland Press Herald reports reports that Julie Rabinowitz from the Maine Department of Labor painted a very different picture on Monday, when she urged state lawmakers to change the law to give employers more rights.

RELATED STORY

Maine Dispensary’s Offer: Clean Up Trash, Get Free Cannabis

The Legislature’s labor committee is expected to take up the matter.

Voters in November legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana products but commercial sales are on hold as regulations are considered.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Dispensary’s Offer: Clean Up Trash, Get Free Cannabis

A medical marijuana dispensary in Maine offered do-gooders a chance to trade community service for free cannabis over the weekend—and it’s thinking about expanding the initiative statewide.

Gardiner-based Summit Medical Marijuana on Saturday offered cannabis to volunteers who cleaned up the community. Pick up a bagful of trash, the offer went, and trade it for a free gram of flower.

“Bring us back the full trash bag, and we give them a gift of cannabis,” Owner Dennis Meehan told local news station WCSH-6, adding that he got the idea after hearing about a similar event in Colorado. “They had a great response to this, so I was hoping to do the same thing in Maine.”

RELATED STORY

Maine Wants Advice on How to Regulate Cannabis

According to the company’s Facebook page, the event was a success. On Saturday afternoon, the dispensary posted an update showing a dumpster full of trash bags. “Mainers rock!!! You’re all amazing people!!!” the post said. “Anyone want to help do this statewide in 1 month or so?”

Giving out free bud may not be best for the company’s bottom line,  but Meehan says his number one goal is to make a better Maine.

“Something that caregivers do all across Maine that very few people know about is that they make huge sacrifices every week to help others live a better quality of life,” he told WCSH.

RELATED STORY

Maine Panel Mulls Doubling 10% Tax on Cannabis

Gifts of small amounts of cannabis between adults 21 and over are legal under state law.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Panel Mulls Doubling 10% Tax on Cannabis

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — As the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in Maine nears, a legislative panel has spent months pondering the best way to tax cannabis to bring in state revenue, fund regulatory enforcement and discourage the illicit market.

In November, legalization of recreational marijuana was approved. Possession of recreational marijuana became legal this year, while the Legislature pushed back the legalization until at least February.

RELATED STORY

Maine Wants Advice on How to Regulate Cannabis

The referendum included licensing fees as well as a 10 percent tax on sales by retail marijuana stores and social clubs.

“I think we’ll definitely be increasing (the tax) to some level,” said Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce, co-chair of the Legislature’s joint marijuana legalization implementation committee.

But nothing’s been decided yet, said Pierce, who added there may be a special session in October for a vote on a final bill. Committee co-chair Republican Sen. Roger Katz said the committee is meeting often and hopes to wrap up its work by September. The Legislature approved $200,000 for the committee and $1.4 million to the state for the costs of putting together marijuana regulations, including consultants.

RELATED STORY

Cannabis Legalization Takes Hold in Maine

Meanwhile, medical marijuana dispensaries and advocacy groups so far this year have reported spending more than $265,000 on lobbyists to sway officials. Legalize Maine has reported spending $32,000, while Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana has reported spending nearly $85,000.

The regulations will govern issues from the use of pesticides to growing for personal consumption, and the Legislature faces further votes on a bill to set up a system of labs to test marijuana. Pierce said that overall, the idea is to learn from states like Colorado.

“We are really trying to make sure we give opportunity for small grows to happen, so people who don’t want to be big industrial marijuana producers can be in the market,” Pierce said.

That could look like a market “almost akin to the craft beer market,” she said.

RELATED STORY

Massachusetts Cannabis Law Overhaul Calls for Up to 20% Sales Tax

One of the biggest issues ahead of lawmakers is deciding what the tax is, how it’s structured and where the money will be directed.

Katz said the idea is for licensing fees to cover the state’s regulatory and enforcement costs, with tax revenues possibly going toward public health programs to discourage youth marijuana consumption or efforts against impaired driving.

He said lawmakers share the concern of finding “that sweet spot so we’re not driving people to the black market.”

But the head of a marijuana legalization campaign is pushing back against talk of a 20 percent tax.

“Twenty percent is too high,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine and a board member of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine.

“The tax needs to be 10 percent to make sure we don’t encourage an illicit market. Maine already has an active cannabis economy.”

Maine is looking at examples from others states, some of which also allow local taxes. Colorado has a 15 percent excise tax and 15 percent sales tax on marijuana, while Oregon has a 17 percent sales tax and Washington has a 37 percent excise tax.

RELATED STORY

Maine Gov. LePage, a Sharp Cannabis Critic, Signs off on Legalization

Alaska, meanwhile, has a tax of $50 per ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. And in Massachusetts, where voters also legalized recreational marijuana last fall, the Legislature sent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker a bill for a 10.75 percent excise tax on top of the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax.

Taxes on medical marijuana, meanwhile, are generally lower. Medical marijuana in Maine is subject to a 5.5 percent sales tax.

How recreational marijuana “is going to relate to the existing medical marijuana program is a real issue for us,” Katz said.

But, he said of Maine’s medical marijuana program: “We’re not going to touch that, we don’t feel it’s within our purview at the moment.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.