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Latest News

(NEW VENUE) for MIDCOAST Network meetings…..Come check it out!

Dec 27th, 2018 6:00- 8:00pm

Off Shore Restaurant 770 Commercial Street, Rockport, ME 44856

*No longer having Boothbay Harbor Network Meetings

Come Join us!
"Access to Monthly Networking Meetings"
MMCM members gain access to member only meetings held throughout the state every month. These interactive meetings begin with a networking session and are followed by a formal presentation, which includes important legislative updates, upcoming community events and guest speakers. These networking meetings are the best way for caregivers and patients to keep abreast of Maine's fast moving medical marijuana program.

Big Shout Out..... to everyone that contributed and donated money , time and effort to make this event a Special Day for our Veterans.

Canna Care Docs served over a 95 Veterans with a certification. Homegrown Healthcare of Maine and MMCM fed Veterans and families, and gave out over 100 free goodie bags.

ccd

The Canna Connection Radio Show

Sponsored by MMCM

broadcastedby The Mix Maine Media 107.9

Advertise your Business on Monday nights 6:00pm- 7:00pm

420 Sponsorship- A monthly Investment of $420.00 includes:

  • 3 live sponsor mentions
  • 2 30second commercial in show
  • 40 30second monthly show promos
  • Daily DJ mentions
  • Inclusion on the show page at mixmaine.com

Work Place Safety Training

work place safety training

MMCM offered a Work Place Safety Training on  Sept 10th, with Linda Doran, Maine Labor Group....which is an OSHA requirement for employers with 5 or more employees.

Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Unusable Pesticides

September 12, 2018
Contact: Megan Patterson 207-287-2731, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
John Bott 207-287-3156, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maine DEP and Board of Pesticides Control promote responsible disposal
AUGUSTA—Unusable pesticides, such as weed killers (herbicides) and bug killers (insecticides), can be dangerous to humans, pets, and the environment. Pesticides can become unusable due to age, freezing or evaporation, or because their legal registration changes. Improper disposal of these products can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water.

Participants must pre-register by October 5, 2018. Drop-ins are not permitted.

Collections will occur at four sites: Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland.
Homeowners, family-owned farms, and greenhouses can dispose of unusable pesticides through the free Obsolete Pesticide Collection sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The program is funded through product registration fees; since 1982 it has kept more than 103 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream.
“Providing Maine residents with a free and easy solution to properly dispose of pesticides gives everyone an opportunity to make a positive impact on our environment and public health,” said Paul Mercer, DEP Commissioner.
DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb is encouraging Mainers to seize this free opportunity. “It is not uncommon for people to find themselves with obsolete pesticides and not know how to dispose of them. It’s important for the protection of the public, wildlife, and environmental health that they are dealt with properly and not thrown in the trash or down the drain.”
To register and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at thinkfirstspraylast.org , or call 207-287-2731.
• For more information on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, go to: thinkfirstspraylast.org.
• For more information on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, go to: maine.gov/dep
Important Note to the Media: Since pre-registration is required, please post any information from this release as soon as possible. This will allow adequate time for participants and the Board of Pesticides Control to process applications. Thank you for your help in getting the word out!

MMCM Office will be closed

MMCM Office will be closed on Thursday & Friday, Sept 20th & 21st for Vacation

MMCM is also looking to recruit new Legislative Committee Members...

if you feel you would like to volunteer as a committee member and you are

able to help track legislation, Lobby for legislation that supports MMCM policy, discuss efforts in upcoming and outcomes of completed legislation sessions...please come to either of our Member Network meetings listed above in Bangor on Thursday, August 2nd, 6-8pm or  in Winthrop, on Tuesday, August 14th and introduce yourself.  Get to meet our Board members and staff!  We need reliable, responsible interested parties.

We, (MMCM) are looking for Volunteers to join up with our Fundraiser Committee.

The committee will be responsible for holding fundraisers to benefit the Trade Association’s core mission to educate, advocate and Legislate for the medical marijuana program. We are looking for dedicated skilled and enthusiastic volunteers to bring fresh, new fundraising ideas to our program. Volunteers should be skilled in hosting events, networking and event planning. Call the office to speak to Cheryl 207-596-3501
Please feel free with suggestions, you can email your ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
if we use your idea.......you could win a Basic membership to MMCM!

UPDATE... LD 1539 & LD 238 Passed!

Monday was an amazing day. We watched as the two bills that we all created were passed into law. I was so excited and kind of scared at the same time. So many changes, so many new opportunities for people in the community. There were a lot of compromises made, some not as good as others, but as a whole it great for the medical cannabis program in Maine. Thank you to all who helped in one way or another. LD 238 is in effect now for processors and manufactures. You musty notify the dept with you're intention to get a license and that you are acting in good faith. LD 1539 will go into effect 90 days from adjournment of the session, so please be patient. Also please be patient with the girls in the department, they are understaffed for the new administrative burdens placed on them. It will take a few weeks to get it figured out and to be able to answer your questions. Thank you again for all of the support and help in protecting the medical cannabis program.

Catherine Lewis

President, MMCM

Staff & Board Members

 

Links to Finalized Bills...  LD1539  ( 90 days, we anticipate the beginning of Nov ) & LD238 (effective immediately)

LD238 

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0084&item=3&snum=128

LD1539

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP1060&item=21&snum=128

2018 HomeGrown Maine Medical Marijuana Trade Show

By Andrew S. - https://highgroundcannabisjournal.com

For the last 7 years the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine have been hosting an annual trade show. Folks came from all over New England and gathered at the Augusta Civic Center, Jun 2nd and 3rd for a fun packed weekend of cannabis. Vendors from every corner of the cannabis industry were on hand displaying the newest and most efficient equipment in the field.  Although the real hot-topic this year was definitely the closure of the Vape Tent.

Read the full story here

Attention!

Attention:  

The CDC has officially posted on the mmmp website notification that the new rules that were originally going to take effect on February 1st, then May 1st have officially gone into effect on May 10, 2018.  The following is a bullet point list of the changes and how they affect our program.  Please review and understand that following these rules is required to maintain compliance. 

MMMP RULE Changes Overview

The Department may/must-

* Take action necessary to ensure compliance.

* Request specific documents as proof of authorized conduct

o Patients must have photo ID and written cert

o Registered caregiver must have photo ID, registry ID card and designation card and designation form- up to maximum 5 cards and active patients; and trip tickets if transporting

o A primary caregiver employee or principal officer, board member or employee of a registered dispensary must have registry ID card

o Non-registered caregiver must have designation card and designation form- up to maximum 5

* Initiate an onsite assessment, which may include an interview, a paper review, and an inspection of premises hosting authorized conduct, to ensure compliance of an individual who engages in authorized conduct authorized prior to issuing a registry identification card, as a routine review, in response to an allegation of non-compliance or as part of a plan of correction.

* Conduct an inspection where the focus can be on

o Verifying information submitted in an application;

o Reviewing records for all required documents, including, but not limited to designation forms, registration, and licenses, labeling and employee records, as applicable;

o Conducting interviews; inspecting areas used for authorized conduct to ensure any marijuana, including plants, usable marijuana and incidental marijuana cultivated for medical use, is within the specified limit and is identifiable and maintained as required;

o Taking samples of marijuana cultivated for medical use and products containing marijuana for medical use; and

o Assessing conduct for compliance with the rule and statute.

* Take remedial action for non-compliance which may include directed corrective action; suspension, revocation and denial of a registry identification card or registration certificate, as specified; civil penalties; and referral the conduct is outside the scope of MMMP, is not appropriate for agency directed corrective action, or has not been rectified through correction action.

* Request entry to inspect a dispensary or registered caregiver without notification.

o Upon refusal, may refer to law enforcement when compliance cannot be determined

o If denied entry by a cardholder, take action to revoke the registry identification card or dispensary registration certificate.

* Consider failing to comply with assessment process/inspection a violation of the rule

* Refer to other if the conduct is outside the scope of MMMP, is not appropriate for agency directed corrective action, or has not been rectified through correction action.

* Suspend a dispensary certificate on an emergency basis

* Report medical provider to licensing boards, regarding the inappropriate evaluation or treatment of a patient's medical condition or a reported alleged violation of the applicable standard of care, or when determined non-compliant

* Take samples, photographs or electronic copies may be taken during an on-site assessment to determine compliance.

* Provide technical assistance during an inspection or move to a progressive enforcement action (fines or penalties, required plan of correction, registration denial or revocation, and referral to law enforcement) if compliance cannot be determined when conducting an on-site assessment, or when a finding of non-compliance is not resolved through technical assistance provided on-site or through other remedial action.

* Request a plan of correction which must include action steps to correct any finding, violation or deficiency noted by the Department in the notice of non-compliance; specific deadlines for each corrective action step; and steps to reduce potential future violation.

* Issue a directed plan of correction

* Determine a registry identification card applicant ineligible if the applicant has failed to demonstrate compliance with this rule and the statute; and the applicant is/will be using a location for authorized conduct where such conduct is prohibited by the host municipality's local codes and ordinances.

The Department may/must-

* Take action necessary to ensure compliance.

* Document reports of non-compliance that result in an on-site assessment

* Provide at least 24 hours as notification if entering to inspect areas within the residence of a person not required to register.

* Show proof of identity when requesting entry and prior to inspecting, provide the written reason for the on-site assessment and take measures to reduce potential disruption and contamination to area during and inspection

* Maintain chain-of-custody and provide receipt for samples collected

* Issue notice of non-compliance that is to include appeal rights

* Issue written notice of denial or revocation of card which must include reason for action and section of rule or statute, date action takes effect and the right to appeal.

* Person received notice when the person signs for receipt or 3 days after Dept mailed 1st class to last known address

* Seek a district court order terminating a dispensary registration certificate or seek emergency suspension.

* Enforce date of revocation as being 3 days after written notice is mailed first class

* Provide the subject of an on-site assessment report within 30 days and indicate whether any violation was identified and, if corrective action was taken, and the action and its outcome. (No action required; finding of non-compliance; immediate action against dispensary certificate)

MMJ Cardholders/Participants may/must-

* Possess amounts of marijuana up to the limits specified in the statue (as a patient and on behalf of a patient possess up to 2 ½ ounces of prepared marijuana, 6 mature plants, 12 non-flowering, unlimited seedlings and 8 lbs of unprocessed/incidental)

* As a patient, designate one source to cultivate on their behalf, and also cultivate within limit

* Share a cultivation location if the caregivers are family or household members and there is only two caregivers (22 MRS §2423-A (1)(B) and (3)(D).)

* Share a cultivation location if the patients are family or household members, and patient can share with more than two other patients

* Assist any patient who designates them- up to 5 current/valid designations for caregivers, and discontinue a designation by signing and dating designation form and returning designation card.

* Re-apply for a registry identification card after 30 days of revocation or denial if they can demonstrate compliance

* Prepare goods containing marijuana for a patient who is a member of the primary caregiver's family or household and furnish that product to only that patient, without a food establishment license

* As a caregiver, rent separate, self-contained, locked and secured locations within a building and store cultivation-related materials in common area if they, as a caregiver, are not assisting another caregiver and marijuana is locked and secure.

* As a dispensary, report failed drug tests and may have a policy to specify that the reporting of the presence of marijuana for an employee who possesses a valid written certification is not required and the employee's status as a qualifying patient is confidential.

* As a registered caregiver, employ one person to assist in caregiver-assigned duties, if personnel files is maintained and provide limited marijuana to dispensary approved for such transfer

* As a incapacitated adult or minor patient or patient who resides in nursing/hospice facility, designate a second primary caregiver

* As a dispensary, cultivate up to 30 plants outdoors

* Report total amount of marijuana on packaged goods

* Be inspected if they are a registry identification card applicant

MMJ Cardholders/Participants may/must

* Comply, to receive protection as an authorized person and to avoid progressive enforcement action.

* Forfeit excess to law enforcement

* Identify each plant and patient file with patient's written certification number

* Report, at least annually, the total number of patients, with designation dates and patient's certification unique identifier

* As a caregiver, report if a designation is not re-filled within 10 days unless the caregiver has 5 cards; and, as a dispensary, report patient count monthly.

* As a dispensary, request approval to acquire prepared marijuana from a registered caregiver

* Maintain records for tax purposes (sales records) and personnel files

* Report cultivation location

* Obtain food establishment license if preparing and furnishing goods containing marijuana to patient who are not family or household members.

* Pay specified testing fees for required testing of samples collected by the Departmen 

Patriots Day Smoke-In at the Somerset County Courthouse in Skowhegan

4444A cold damp day greeted 31 Maine cannabis advocates at the annual Patriots Day Smoke-In at the Somerset County Courthouse in Skowhegan on April 16, 2018 at High Noon. Maine Vocals founder Don Christen has spoken out for 26 consecutive years to end prohibition and liberate cannabis and hemp from government and corporate control. Noting that the Governor and the State Legislature have interpreted the 2016 referendum approval as a carte blanche to regulate and tax so that corporations can gain control of production, squeezing out the citizen farmer, Christen urged followers to educate a new generation to carry on the fight. Channel 5 WBAI, Waterville Morning Sentinel, Norridgewock based videographer Pete Sirois and other podcast news services covered the event. THC lollipops and joints were shared and a good time was had by all.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAINE EARTH WALK PROCLAIMS APRIL 22 AS EARTH DAY AND DECLARES "EARTH DAY IS EVERY DAY!" WE ARE HOSTING A WALK AND TEACH-IN DISCUSSION ON ENDING PLASTIC POLLUTION IN AUGUSTA, MAINE.

In partnership with Earth Day Network's Global Day of Conversation

HALLOWELL/AUGUSTA MAINE, SUNDAY APRIL 22, 2018 -- As part of Hallowell and Augusta's recognition of Earth Day 2018, Maine Earth Walk has brought together the community to discuss the state of local plastic pollution control measures, and to help clean the community we live in. All are welcome to join the Maine Earth Walk happening this Sunday, April 22, 2018. This Year's walk will begin at 9 am Hallowell River Front Park. At 10 am we will walk 2.5 miles on the Kennebec River Rail Trail to the Maine State House and meet on the front steps of the Capitol Building. We will hold a rally/teach in on how to end plastic pollution and cleaning up our environment. Light refreshments at Capitol Park after. Bring comfortable walking shoes and dress according to the weather. This event is happening RAIN OR SHINE! Bring your friends, family, pets, and a festive spirit for our Earth Day Celebration. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Earth Day Proclamation

We, the People, of the Planet Earth
Determined to live a sustainable 'Way of Life',
Do hereby Declare, "Earth Day , Every Day !"

We are concerned about our Future !
We are concerned about our Human Life !

The time has come to commit to the Protection and Preservation
of our Mother Earth, our Natural Resources and All Living Beings !

We must address the Problems we face !
We must All work together for Solutions !

-Maine Earth Walkers

Legislative Update

It's been a very busy week at the legislature. LD 1719 passed both the house and the Senate with very strong support virtually a veto-proof margin so to speak. This is very concerning as the medical program was included in this bill  for the oversight to be moved  to DAFTS among a few other reasons MMCM was unable to support this version of Legalization.   LD 1539 and LD 238 are scheduled to be heard today Friday April 13th,  in both the House and the Senate. If passed by both they should land on the governor's desk no later than Tuesday. 

Please reach out to your representatives and ask for yes votes on both LD 1539 and LD 238.

Thanks   

Catherine Lewis, MMCM President

 

NOTIFY YOUR REP/SENATOR NOW AND SPEAK YOUR CONCERNS. HERE IS THE LINK TO FIND YOUR REP/SENATOR:

http://legislature.maine.gov/house/townlist.htm

Maine just became the first state to protect cannabis use outside work

By Steve Elliott / herb.co

Employers in Maine can no longer discriminate against employees based on marijuana use during off-time. Workers are now protected from getting fired or disciplined based solely on their use of cannabis in their off-time, attorneys at Littler Mendelson report.

In a refreshing display of “if it’s legal, it’s legal,” the Maine Department of Labor has removed cannabis from the list of substances for which employers may test.

While other states have legalized recreational cannabis use, until now, none of them prevented employers from enacting anti-marijuana policies or refusing to hire candidates who test positive for weed. HR managers at affected employers in Maine are updating their handbooks and drug policies to reflect the changes.

The provisions prohibit employers from refusing to employ or otherwise penalizing anyone 21 or older based on that person’s “consuming marijuana outside the … employer’s … property.” Regardless of where cannabis is consumed, however, the Act allows employers to ban use and possession of cannabis and cannabis products “in the workplace.” It also allows them to “discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace.”

Fortunately, a positive drug test alone won’t be enough to prove a worker was “under the influence” of marijuana. Those tests often show “positive” for days or weeks; cannabis metabolites are stored in fatty tissue.

The law doesn’t affect compliance requirements with federally mandated testing for cannabis. This includes testing under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations of some commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Actual retail cannabis sales have been delayed in Maine, largely because of the obstructionism of anti-cannabisGov. Paul LePage. But the rest of Maine’s Question 1, the 2016 ballot measure legalizing marijuana, is moving forward.

It remains to be seen if Maine’s non-discrimination provisions contained in the law will hold up in court. This is especially true given the conflict between federal and state laws.

2018 Home Grown Maine Show... 7th Annual

REMINDER to contact your Representatives ...to let them know you are not in support of these ammendments... for LD 1719

Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee

LD 1719 – work session

Accepted in Ought to Pass as Amended Vote on February 23, 2018

*Indicates changes made to proposal when vote was taken

  1. Proposal to prohibit entry of persons under 21 from all areas within a marijuana establishment;

*Add clarification that qualifying patient aged 18, 19 or 20 may enter a common area within a shared facility to access where medical marijuana is sold.

  1. Proposal to clarify municipal “opt-in” language to provide that municipal action may include passage of a new ordinance, amendment of existing ordinance or approval of a warrant article that generally regulates operation of marijuana establishments within municipality;

*Existing ordinances are valid and decisions such as land-use ordinances applicable to adult-use marijuana endorsed by legislative body qualify as an “opt-in.”

  1. Proposal to include language similar to 28-B MRSA §606 (LD 1719, p. 49) regarding coordination of medical and adult use rules on packaging and labeling;
  1. Proposal to provide exemptions from application of certain Criminal Code (Title 17-A) provisions for activities authorized under MLA (consistent with existing exemptions for activities authorized under medical law).
  1. Proposal to include unallocated language directing Marijuana Advisory Commission to include in its first report recommendations regarding standardization, coordination or integration of medical and adult use programs, including testing, labeling and packaging standards and rules.

*Change to make this an ongoing duty of the Commission rather than one-time report.

  1. Proposal to apply certain packaging and labeling standards relating to appeal to children (shapes, depictions, etc.) to advertising standards. See pink sheet of language, page 3, amending 28-B, section 702, sub-§1, ¶B.
  1. Change definition of “plant canopy” to include only those areas in which mature marijuana plants are cultivated. (See gold sheet language dated Jan. 30)
  1. Revise license tier sizes to: Tier 1, up to 30 plants or up to 500 sq ft; Tier 2, up to 2000 sq ft; Tier 3, up to 7000 sq ft; and Tier 4, up to 20,000 sq ft, with increases available upon renewal of 7000 sq ft no more than once per 2 years. No change in application fee or license fee.
  1. Health and safety warning labels on packaging of retail marijuana and marijuana products. Mandate health and safety warnings labels on retail marijuana and marijuana products as required by major substantive rule adopted by DAFS in consultation with DHHS Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Sec. 701(1), pg 50.
  1. Remove section 202(3), pg 15, on durational residency requirement. Add a definition of resident to sec. 102: person domiciled in the state; with permanent place of abode in state; spends more than 183 days of taxable year in state; and has filed resident tax return in each of the 3 years prior to the year in which the applicant applies for licensure. Repeal on June 1, 2012 the tax return filing portion of the definition.
  1. Sampling of marijuana. Sec. 502(5), p 35. Sampling on premises by employees of products manufacturing facility allowed for quality purposes and research and development only, may be done on premises, but may not involve smoking. Smoking defined as in 22 MRSA 1541(6).
  1. Retain current bill provisions on co-location of adult use cultivation and products manufacturing facilities and medical marijuana cultivation and processing space (pgs. 32-33, 35). Require complete separation of marijuana stores and storefronts for medical marijuana caregivers and dispensaries (separate facilities; separate buildings).
  1. Proposal relating to local control/approval within unorganized territory – see proposal distributed 2/16.
  1. Proposal relating to employment practices (§112 of bill, pgs. 12-13) – see language from 2/16.
  1. Proposal relating to organic labeling – see language distributed 2/16.
  1. Reduce number of marijuana plants authorized for personal possession and home cultivation to 3 mature plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings.

* Provide for 6 month delayed effect of reduction from 6 to 3 mature plants.

  • All provisions regarding personal possession and home cultivation will still only apply to adult use marijuana (i.e., not applicable to medical marijuana).
  • Person may cultivate 3 mature plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings:
    • On land on which the person is domiciled;
    • On other land the person owns; or
    • On other land owned by another person with a written agreement regarding the cultivation/care of the plants.
  • Municipality may adopt an ordinance or other regulation that sets limits on home cultivation of marijuana on a parcel/tract of land as long as that limit allows for the cultivation of 3 mature plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings for each person 21 years or older who is domiciled on the parcel/tract of land.
  • Provisions regarding home cultivation requirements (§1502(3) on pgs. 61-62) still apply as written.
  1. All licensing, administration, enforcement and other oversight under MLA under DAFS.
  • All rulemaking authority under MLA under DAFS, but DAFS required to consult with DACF in adopting rules under the MLA relating to cultivation, processing, testing, etc. (in same manner as the required consultation with DOL and DPS on pg. 10 of bill).
  1. Amend Marijuana Advisory Commission membership to following 15 members:
  • Representatives from DAFS, DHHS, DPS, DOL and *DACF;
  • *A representative of a statewide prosecutors association;
  • A public health expert;
  • Representatives from medical marijuana and adult use marijuana industries;
  • Two members of the general public; and
  • Two members of the Senate and two members of the House.
  1. Shift oversight of medical law and administration of medical marijuana program from DHHS to DAFS.
  • Medical law will remain in Title 22 and will not change other than references to DHHS; medical program rules and active registrations will remain in effect and valid.
  • Will include provisions aimed at ensuring HHS Committee retains jurisdiction over medical marijuana issues.
  • Will include provisions to ensure that administration and oversight of medical program within DAFS does not involve administration and oversight by BABLO.
  • Will include provisions to ensure that rulemaking under medical law by DAFS requires consultation with DHHS.
  1. Remove all municipal revenue sharing provisions from bill.
  • Do not include new language on municipal impact fees.
  • On revenue sharing, delete section 1002, subsection 2 and amend subsection 1; delete section 1003 subsection 2 and amend subsection 1.
  • Retain specific tax revenue dedications to Adult Use Marijuana Public Health and Safety Fund in bill (p. 58-59). All other tax revenue goes directly to General Fund.

  1. Include provisions to allow for limited plant sales between dispensaries/registered caregivers and adult use cultivators who are also dispensaries or registered caregivers.
  • Sale of plants and seeds only (no harvested/processed marijuana, marijuana concentrate or marijuana products).
  • Sale is a taxable event on which applicable excise tax under MLA must be collected.
  • For a two year period starting on the date that DAFS issues the first “active” cultivation facility license (DAFS to post notice of this start date), the initial active license provided to an adult use cultivator that is also a dispensary or registered caregiver must provide authorization for the cultivator to purchase plants and seeds from a dispensary or registered caregiver in a single sales transaction only.
    • The authorization is limited to the term of the initial active license (one year) and the adult use cultivator is limited to a one-time purchase of plants and seeds from a dispensary or registered caregiver (i.e., cannot purchase from multiple dispensaries or caregivers and cannot purchase in multiple transactions from a single dispensary or caregiver).
    • A dispensary or registered caregiver may only sell plants and seeds to one adult use cultivator in a single transaction (i.e., cannot sell to multiple cultivators or in multiple transactions to a single cultivator).
    • DAFS to adopt rules governing this limited sales period.    
  1. Remove all reference to social club operation, licensing and related provisions from bill.
  1. Strike second paragraph from 110 (pg. 12, lines 20-22).
  1. Strike second and third sentences from §104(3) (pg. 9, lines 19-26).
  1. Strike §402(6) in its entirety (pg. 30, lines 19-34).
  1. Add to the duties of the Marijuana Advisory Commission in §903 (pg. 56-57) language requiring the annual solicitation of public comment regarding police contacts with citizens involving the personal use of marijuana and marijuana products and home cultivation of marijuana and to include any resulting findings and recommendations in its annual report.

27. Tax structure and rates (sales tax and excise tax) Sec. 1001, pg. 57 and Part D, pg. 66.

  • Accepted proposal from DAFS/MRS to achieve 20% effective total tax rate that includes a 10% sales tax at the point of sale to a consumer and an excise tax imposed on wholesale sales by a licensed cultivator to another adult use marijuana licensee.
Taxable Item LD 1650/1719 DAFS/MRS Proposal
Marijuana flower and mature plants $130/pound $335/pound
Marijuana trim $36.29/pound $94/pound
Immature plant or seedling $1.50/plant or seedling $1.50/plant or seedling
Marijuana seed $0.30/seed $0.30/seed

The outcome is essentially a 21.5 percent excise tax at wholesale on marijuana products. When combined with the 10 percent sales tax, this proposal is revenue neutral to the 20 percent sales tax previously proposed. Preliminary revenue estimates are as follows:

Tax Type Fiscal Year 2020 Fiscal Year 2021
Sales (retail) $1.4 million $8.5 million
Excise (wholesale) $1.3 million $7.8 million
Total $2.7 million $16.3 million

28. Delete sections A-8 and A-9 that would have imposed a deadline of December 1, 2018 on provisional adoption of major substantive rules.

Withdrawn or voted “out”

  1. Reexamine testing provisions to improve efficiency of testing process. Withdrawn by Rep. Ackley.
  1. State tax deductions for marijuana businesses. Withdrawn by Sen. Dion.
  1. Employment of persons age 18, 19 or 20 at an adult use marijuana facility/establishment. Withdrawn by Rep. Hickman.
  1. Proposal to limit possession of marijuana cultivated for personal use under MLA to 8 pounds (mirror medical marijuana law limitation).   Withdrawn by Rep. Hickman.
  1. Environmental issues, particularly waste and burden or impacts on natural resources. Withdrawn by Rep. Hickman.
  1. Proposal to expand requirements on labeling, packaging and signs, advertising and marketing. Withdrawn by Rep Hanley.

MMCM is proud to announce Maine's 1st cannabis radio show.

MMCM is sponsoring the show and we are working with 107.9 Mix Maine.  The show will last 1 hour from 6PM to 7PM weekly on Mondays.  The show will be hosted by station DJ Chris Rush and MMCM board member, Dawson Julia.  Weekly guests will include: Senators and Representatives, activists, attorneys, doctors......etc.  The show will be dedicated to informing, educating and activating Maine citizens who wish to help us fight the war of stigma and fear.  Listeners can call in to ask questions or voice opinions. 

miixWe also plan to play lots of cannabis friendly music in between the conversations.  Our 1st show is scheduled to start Feb 19th at 6PM so please be sure to tune in and tell your friends. 

If you wish to help MMCM and our fight please consider becoming a member, making a donation or becoming active together with us in Augusta.  There is currently a standby list for businesses that wish to advertise on the radio show so please let us know if you would like to be added to the list.  Contact Cheryl at the office 207-596-3501 for more information.

Let’s Welcome ... Mitchell Tardy Jackson & Alysia Melnick, Bernstein Shur Law Firm

Jim Mitchell Josh Tardy Chris Jackson Jake Mitchell Alysia Melnick

                                          

Mitchell Tardy Jackson

To protect and promote your organization's interest in Augusta, you want experienced professionals with extensive networks of relationships among policymakers, their staff and their political confidantes. You demand not simply the names of key people, but knowledge of the nuances and historical connections that can significantly influence political decision-making. Furthermore, your public affairs efforts require a clear understanding of the legislative process and how to use its protections and devices appropriately and effectively.

Alysia Melnick, Bernstein Shur Law Firm

We welcome back Alysia, She helped create and draft LD 1296, which is the current law we are operating under now. When it comes to shaping laws and policies, lobbying, and building strong coalitions, Alysia has the experience, knowledge and passion that have proved successful against incredible odds. Having worked both inside and alongside government, she has the relationships, skills and "never say die" attitude that makes the difference in a tough fight.

Medical marijuana sales, caregivers and patient numbers decline

Caregivers and dispensary owners blame the 'gray market' caused by Maine's emerging adult-use market for the first decline in the state's medical marijuana industry since it began nearly 7 years ago

 

Read the Full Article here: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/02/02/medical-marijuana-sales-caregivers-and-patient-numbers-decline/ 

Representative Sanderson, has received an answer to her inquiry asking the governor if he would be agreeable to delaying the implementation of the Medical Cannabis rules while the HHS committee works on significant policy proposals to the program

The Governor has graciously agreed to Rep. Sanderson's request and has issued a letter to the DHHS delaying the rule implementation until May 1, 2018. This delay will allow the HHS committee to finish it's work.

Agricultural Grants - Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Seeks Proposals for FY18 Agricultural Development Grants

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Division of Agricultural Resource Development, is seeking proposals for the FY2018 Agricultural Development Grant Program. In accordance with State procurement practices, the Department is hereby announcing the publication of a Request for Proposals (RFP# 201711189) for proposals from qualified applicants.
The 119th Legislature authorized an Agricultural Development Fund (7 M.R.S.A., Chapter 10 §306A - 309). The Legislature identified the agricultural industry need for accelerating new market development, adoption of improved technology and promotion of agricultural products produced in Maine.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may allocate the grant funds among projects involving market research, market promotion, or a combination of those activities for the purpose of expanding existing markets and developing new markets for agricultural products produced in Maine; or for testing and demonstrating new technologies related to the production, storage or processing of State agricultural products. All submitted proposals need to be for projects which demonstrate readiness and that can be commenced immediately upon acceptance.
The Department has $250,000 available and may select multiple projects with maximum amounts of up to $50,000 per award.

The Commissioner has established priorities for this RFP. Proposals that incorporate one or more of the following priorities will be considered more favorably in the evaluation process:
1. Technological and/or process improvements that demonstrate profitability of Maine grown crops, or result in reduction of costs associated with drought or other natural crop disturbances for Maine farmers.
2. Product enhancements for value added, nutrition, marketing and/or food safety.
3. Alternative markets or diversification; examples could be: participation in national or regional commodity events, special merchandising activities, expanded farm stands, or rural educational tours.
4. Development or expansion of livestock processing.

A copy of the RFP, as well as the Question & Answer Summary, and all amendments related to this RFP can be obtained at the following website: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml
Proposals must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services by 4:00 pm on January 4, 2018.

Seven 2017 Cannabis Legalization Bills in Play and What That Means for the Industry

November 29, 2017 by David Hodes

There is now a wide assortment of bills in Congress related to cannabis (and hemp) legalization and use. And while me these bills have not seen movement in 2017, the sheer number of them introduced in 2017 are creating a perfect story attention from Congress and more active committee discussion in 2018.

Here are a seven of the most active or long-ranging bills that cannabis business owners should be tracking and why:

1. Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017 (Senate bill 1803 sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and introduced September 13). The bill is designed to improve the process for conducting scientific research on marijuana as a safe and effective medical treatment. In introducing this legislation, Senator Hatch was joined by Senator Schatz (0-HI) and co-sponsors Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Se Thom Tillis (R-NC). Since then, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) have also sigrn on as cosponsors. The bill currently resides in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In announcing the bill, Hatch sai country has experimented with a variety of state solutions "without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana." In his speech on the Senate floo1 Hatch reminded his colleagues that "it would be no surprise that he is strongly against the use of recreational marijuana. But I worry that in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits o natural substances like cannabis," he said. "While I certainly do not support the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the evidence shows that cannabis possesses medicinal properties that can truly change people's live~ the better." Why this bill matters: Hatch, a Mormon and a conservative, is a late convert to the benefits of medical marijuana and shows just how far acceptance for medical marijuana has come.

2. The Marijuana Justice Act (Senate bill 1689 sponsored by Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and introduced August 1 ). Booker introduced his bill with a flurry of press, much of it addressing how his bill would create repara for those communities and individuals damaged from law enforcement and wrongful incarceration. It called for$! million to fix the damages from the war on drugs. But no co-sponsors have joined, and the bill currently resides ii Senate Judiciary Committee. Why this bill matters: Booker is seen as a rising star in Congress and took a polit risk by introducing this bill. The bill attempts to correct the effects of the war on drugs and the racial disparities in enforcement, which makes it accessible to support from other members of Congress as part of a broader bi-part social agenda.

3. Veterans Equal Access Act (House bill 1820 sponsored by Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and introduced March 30). Blumenauer is one of the foremost proponents of cannabis legalization in Congress who i co-creator of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment that bars the Justice Deparment from using its funds to down medical marijuana facilities in states where medical marijuana is legal. He also supports the Americans for Safe Access group, and the bill for which that organization advocates - the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (CARERS). This bill has 18 co-sponsors, including Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) and Representative Tom Garrett (R-VA), all of whom a sponsors or co-sponsors of other marijuana-related bills. It has not moved since it was referred to the House Subcommittee on Health just a day after it was introduced. Why this bill matters: More veterans organizations · such as the American Legion, as demonstrated during a recent press conference on the Hill - are stepping up ti efforts to legalize marijuana for pain management and PTSD, and will be using this bill or introducing others in tr coming year to finally get what they want - or at least get closer to what they want.

4. Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (House bill 2920 sponsored by Representative Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, and introduced June 15). This bill is designed to extend the principl• federalism to state drug policy, provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinalproperties of marijuana. One of the most active marijuana legalization related bills, it has a record (for marijuana bills) 25 co-sponsors now, with ten joining since the beginning of October, including three just this week. Cosponsors include legalization advocates sponsoring or co-sponsoring other marijuana legalization bills: Reps. Rohrabacher, Thomas, Blumenauer and Polis. The bill currently resides in three House committees: Energy and Commerce, Judiciary and Veterans' Affairs. Why this bill m~tters: This bill is about helping seriously sick peopl treatment - especially children and others with epilepsy - and help fix the opioid epidemic. Because of the child epilepsy issue, this bill makes it easier for advocates of the bill to demonstrate real-world medical solutions that change live~ to fence-sitting members of Congress.

5. Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act (House bill 1841, sponsored by Representative Jared Polis, D-Colorado, ar
introduced March 30). This bill was originally referred to five House committees - Judiciary, Energy and Comme
Ways and Means (subcommittee on Trade), Natural Resources (subcommittee on Federal Lands) and Agricultur
has 17 co-sponsors (16 Democrats), including seven from California and both legalization advocates on other bi
(Representative Earl Blumenauer and Dana Rohrabacher). Why this bill matters: This bill puts the legalization
matter to a straight-forward solution that makes it easier to understand, with the hope that it helps Congress see
reasonable and historical pathway to legalization.

6. Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 (House bill 1227, sponsored by Representative Tom Garrett, F
Virginia, and introduced on February 27). This bill is essentially the same bill as a similar 2015 Bernie Sanders b
about ending federal prohibition which stalled in committee. This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to
provide that the Act's regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties do not apply to marijuar
"Senator Sanders had an identical bill," Garrett says. "I know that because my legislative staff poached the bill. ft
really changed was the spelling of marijuana. His bill spelled it 'marihuana' ." It has 15 co-sponsors, including lea
legalization advocates Blumenauer, Polis and Rohrabacher. It was referred to the House Subcommittee on Crim
Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations in mid-March. Why this bill matters: Revising an essentially d
version of this bill created a stir originally but has since followed in the same pathway of other legalization bills b~
stalling in committee. But it is one of the oldest bills that directly addresses the need for ending federal prohibitio
and could be the bill that actually does that.

7. Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 (House bill 975, sponsored by Representative Dana Rohrabacher, R
California, and introduced February 7). This bill also amends the Controlled Substances Act to provide that the ft
regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties do not apply to a person who produces,
possesses, distributes, dispenses, administers, or delivers marijuana in compliance with state laws. It has 24 co·
sponsors, including both Representatives Blumenauer and Polis, and now resides in the House Subcommittee c
Health where it has been three days after it was introduced. Why this bill matters: This bill promotes the state'~
right issue of marijuana legalization, a critical component of keeping the industry moving forward and focused or
country-wide legalization.

 

HERE’S What’s happening in the Medical Marijuana World in Maine

Saturday, November 18th, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

American Legion,  213 Capitol St, Augusta, ME (Look for the big Army Tank in front of the Building)

 

Join us for an Informational with Speaker, Catherine Lewis, Board Chair of MMCM

Information & Education on the NEW rules and regulations that effects Caregivers and Patients. Come to educate yourself for a better understanding!

Go To Our Website   MMCM-ONLINE.ORG to read the  State of Maine, Medical Use Of Marijuana Program Rule Chapter 122

 

MMMP RULE Changes Overview

The Department may/must-

• Take action necessary to ensure compliance.

• Request specific documents as proof of authorized conduct

o Patients must have photo ID and written cert

o Registered caregiver must have photo ID, registry ID card and designation card and designation form- up to maximum 5 cards and active patients; and trip tickets if transporting

o A primary caregiver employee or principal officer, board member or employee of a registered dispensary must have registry ID card

o Non-registered caregiver must have designation card and designation form- up to maximum 5

• Initiate an onsite assessment, which may include an interview, a paper review, and an inspection of premises hosting authorized conduct, to ensure compliance of an individual who engages in authorized conduct authorized prior to issuing a registry identification card, as a routine review, in response to an allegation of non-compliance or as part of a plan of correction.

• Conduct an inspection where the focus can be on

o Verifying information submitted in an application;

o Reviewing records for all required documents, including, but not limited to designation forms, registration, and licenses, labeling and employee records, as applicable;

o Conducting interviews; inspecting areas used for authorized conduct to ensure any marijuana, including plants, usable marijuana and incidental marijuana cultivated for medical use, is within the specified limit and is identifiable and maintained as required;

o Taking samples of marijuana cultivated for medical use and products containing marijuana for medical use; and

o Assessing conduct for compliance with the rule and statute.

• Take remedial action for non-compliance which may include directed corrective action; suspension, revocation and denial of a registry identification card or registration certificate, as specified; civil penalties; and referral the conduct is outside the scope of MMMP, is not appropriate for agency directed corrective action, or has not been rectified through correction action.

• Request entry to inspect a dispensary or registered caregiver without notification.

o Upon refusal, may refer to law enforcement when compliance cannot be determined

o If denied entry by a cardholder, take action to revoke the registry identification card or dispensary registration certificate.

• Consider failing to comply with assessment process/inspection a violation of the rule

• Refer to other if the conduct is outside the scope of MMMP, is not appropriate for agency directed corrective action, or has not been rectified through correction action.

• Suspend a dispensary certificate on an emergency basis

• Report medical provider to licensing boards, regarding the inappropriate evaluation or treatment of a patient’s medical condition or a reported alleged violation of the applicable standard of care, or when determined non-compliant

• Take samples, photographs or electronic copies may be taken during an on-site assessment to determine compliance.

• Provide technical assistance during an inspection or move to a progressive enforcement action (fines or penalties, required plan of correction, registration denial or revocation, and referral to law enforcement) if compliance cannot be determined when conducting an on-site assessment, or when a finding of non-compliance is not resolved through technical assistance provided on-site or through other remedial action.

• Request a plan of correction which must include action steps to correct any finding, violation or deficiency noted by the Department in the notice of non-compliance; specific deadlines for each corrective action step; and steps to reduce potential future violation.

• Issue a directed plan of correction

• Determine a registry identification card applicant ineligible if the applicant has failed to demonstrate compliance with this rule and the statute; and the applicant is/will be using a location for authorized conduct where such conduct is prohibited by the host municipality’s local codes and ordinances.

The Department may/must-

• Take action necessary to ensure compliance.

• Document reports of non-compliance that result in an on-site assessment

• Provide at least 24 hours as notification if entering to inspect areas within the residence of a person not required to register.

• Show proof of identity when requesting entry and prior to inspecting, provide the written reason for the on-site assessment and take measures to reduce potential disruption and contamination to area during and inspection

• Maintain chain-of-custody and provide receipt for samples collected

• Issue notice of non-compliance that is to include appeal rights

• Issue written notice of denial or revocation of card which must include reason for action and section of rule or statute, date action takes effect and the right to appeal.

• Person received notice when the person signs for receipt or 3 days after Dept mailed 1st class to last known address

• Seek a district court order terminating a dispensary registration certificate or seek emergency suspension.

• Enforce date of revocation as being 3 days after written notice is mailed first class

• Provide the subject of an on-site assessment report within 30 days and indicate whether any violation was identified and, if corrective action was taken, and the action and its outcome. (No action required; finding of non-compliance; immediate action against dispensary certificate)

MMJ Cardholders/Participants may/must-

• Possess amounts of marijuana up to the limits specified in the statue (as a patient and on behalf of a patient possess up to 2 ½ ounces of prepared marijuana, 6 mature plants, 12 non-flowering, unlimited seedlings and 8 lbs of unprocessed/incidental)

• As a patient, designate one source to cultivate on their behalf, and also cultivate within limit

• Share a cultivation location if the caregivers are family or household members and there is only two caregivers (22 MRS §2423-A (1)(B) and (3)(D).)

• Share a cultivation location if the patients are family or household members, and patient can share with more than two other patients

• Assist any patient who designates them- up to 5 current/valid designations for caregivers, and discontinue a designation by signing and dating designation form and returning designation card.

• Re-apply for a registry identification card after 30 days of revocation or denial if they can demonstrate compliance

• Prepare goods containing marijuana for a patient who is a member of the primary caregiver’s family or household and furnish that product to only that patient, without a food establishment license

• As a caregiver, rent separate, self-contained, locked and secured locations within a building and store cultivation-related materials in common area if they, as a caregiver, are not assisting another caregiver and marijuana is locked and secure.

• As a dispensary, report failed drug tests and may have a policy to specify that the reporting of the presence of marijuana for an employee who possesses a valid written certification is not required and the employee’s status as a qualifying patient is confidential.

• As a registered caregiver, employ one person to assist in caregiver-assigned duties, if personnel files is maintained and provide limited marijuana to dispensary approved for such transfer

• As a incapacitated adult or minor patient or patient who resides in nursing/hospice facility, designate a second primary caregiver

• As a dispensary, cultivate up to 30 plants outdoors

• Report total amount of marijuana on packaged goods

• Be inspected if they are a registry identification card applicant

MMJ Cardholders/Participants may/must

• Comply, to receive protection as an authorized person and to avoid progressive enforcement action.

• Forfeit excess to law enforcement

• Identify each plant and patient file with patient’s written certification number

• Report, at least annually, the total number of patients, with designation dates and patient’s certification unique identifier

• As a caregiver, report if a designation is not re-filled within 10 days unless the caregiver has 5 cards; and, as a dispensary, report patient count monthly.

• As a dispensary, request approval to acquire prepared marijuana from a registered caregiver

• Maintain records for tax purposes (sales records) and personnel files

• Report cultivation location

• Obtain food establishment license if preparing and furnishing goods containing marijuana to patient who are not family or household members.

• Pay specified testing fees for required testing of samples collected by the Department

Maine CDC Rulemaking

This message provides notice of rulemaking by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention for the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program Rule, 10-144 C.M.R. Ch.122.
You can access the complete rule and related rulemaking documents by going to the Maine CDC Rules webpage. Interested parties may request a paper copy of this adopted rule by calling (207) 287-9394 or Maine Relay number 711.
Additional information regarding the rulemaking process and weekly rulemaking updates can be found by going to the Secretary of State website.

NOTICE OF AGENCY RULEMAKING ADOPTION

AGENCY: Maine CDC

CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: 10-144 CMR, Chapter 122; Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program Rule

BRIEF SUMMARY: The adopted rule implements changes enacted by the 126th and 127th Legislature, removes language that duplicates statutes, corrects grammatical errors, outdated language and inconsistencies, and provides clarification regarding the Department’s policies and practices specific to regulating the cultivation, dispensing and possession of marijuana for medical use.

Changes establish the following: new terms and definitions; a system to monitor and enforce compliance actions; and requirements for registry identification card applications, patient designations, written certifications, including medical provider-patient relationship, and reporting and record-keeping by caregivers and dispensaries. The adopted rule prohibits a visiting patient from cultivating marijuana for medical use, requires Department-approval to acquire excess marijuana, and requires medical provider endorsement to petition to add to the list of debilitating conditions. Additionally, the adopted rule removes the provision requiring the identification of an authorized person to be held by the caregiver or dispensary while the person is in the cultivation area, permits a medical provider to proceed with certifying a minor patient in the absence of a list of consulting physicians and requires nursing facilities that assist qualifying patient to have policies related to the storage, use and administration of marijuana for medical use. Changes clarify what constitutes a “collective” and update application fees to be consistent with current practice.

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: Bridget Bagley, Maine CDC; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;207-287-9394
STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS RULE: 22 MRS, Ch. 558-C
AGENCY WEBSITE: http://mainepublichealth.gov/rules

GO HERE....... to read the Maine Medical Use Of Marijuana Program Rule 10-144 Code of Maine Rules Chapter 122

Join us for a Q & A Session with Attorneys, Matt Dubois, Lenny Sharon and Tim Zerillo

What’s happening in the Medical & Adult Use Cannabis World in Maine

Join us for a Q & A Session with Attorneys, Matt Dubois, 

Lenny Sharon and  Tim Zerillo

Senator Inn & Spa 284 Western Avenue Augusta, ME 04330

Saturday, November 4th, 1:00pm  -  3:00pm

(Parking in the lower banquet parking lot….entrance under the stairwell..there will be signs)

Update!

MLI (Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee) had their meeting on Thursday, Oct 12th to review a revised draft of the committee bill ...please find attached below.
LR 2395 majority amendment, LR 2395 minority amendment and preliminary fiscal note...

2395 minority attachment link
2395 prelim fiscal attachment link
LR 2395 majority attachment link

Update!

MLI (Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee) will be having another meeting on Thursday, Oct 12th@ 9:00am (TRA Committee Room, State House room 126) to review a revised draft of the committee bill (the majority report) and the minority report, which was voted on last Thursday (9/28) , once the draft is made public we will share.....

Legislative panel signs off on bill to spell out Maine’s rules for recreational pot

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.
Live link http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/09/28/pot-taxes-scrutinized-by-lawmakers/

PLEASE BE THERE! This is so important!

PLEASE BE THERE!  This is so important!

Public Hearing - Tuesday, September 26, starting at 9:00 am

in the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee room (State House, Room 228).

The Bill Draft is available at http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/opla/comitinfoMLI.htm

A few points picked up on.... Dispensaries are able to convert to "for profit". 12 plants per parcel whether medical or otherwise. Meaning the the patients at my house are now not all allowed to grow at same time.
Also, going with both plant count and canopy for some tiers of growing.

You can send written testimonies to....
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Because the Committee anticipates a large turnout for the hearing, please be advised of the following:

(1) If you wish to testify, please sign up at table outside Room 228 the morning of the hearing. The order of testimony will follow the order of the sign-up sheets. Sign-up sheets will be available starting at 8:15 am on the 26th.

(2) If you plan on distributing copies of your testimony or other printed materials along with your testimony, please bring at least 25 copies of those materials for distribution.

(3) Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per individual speaker.

(4) There will not be additional copies of the committee bill available at the public hearing.

(5) There will be two overflow rooms available if seating in Room 228 is full. Information on the overflow rooms will be provided at the hearing.

 

R Cullen Stuart Memorial Fund

One of Cullen's favorite events, MOFGA's Common Ground Fair, is this coming weekend. There will be a remembrance celebration in his honor at the Social/Political tent this Saturday, Sept. 23 @ 5:00. All are welcome! Friends are raising funds to plant a tree at the fairground in his memory. Any donations are greatly appreciated and will be used to plant a tree and further hemp production in Maine. Thank you!

VIEW THE PLUMFUND

Public Hearing - Tuesday, September 26, starting at 9:00 am

in the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee room (State House, Room 228).

The Bill Draft is available at http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/opla/comitinfoMLI.htm

A few points picked up on.... Dispensaries are able to convert to "for profit". 12 plants per parcel whether medical or otherwise. Meaning the the patients at my house are now not all allowed to grow at same time.
Also, going with both plant count and canopy for some tiers of growing.

You can send written testimonies to....
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Because the Committee anticipates a large turnout for the hearing, please be advised of the following:

(1) If you wish to testify, please sign up at table outside Room 228 the morning of the hearing. The order of testimony will follow the order of the sign-up sheets. Sign-up sheets will be available starting at 8:15 am on the 26th.

(2) If you plan on distributing copies of your testimony or other printed materials along with your testimony, please bring at least 25 copies of those materials for distribution.

(3) Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per individual speaker.

(4) There will not be additional copies of the committee bill available at the public hearing.

(5) There will be two overflow rooms available if seating in Room 228 is full. Information on the overflow rooms will be provided at the hearing.

Kick-Off Event and Hiring Fair to be held August 29 at Augusta Armory

August 16, 2017
Labor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2017
Media Contacts: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009
The Campaign’s goal is for 100+ employers to hire 100+ veterans during 100 days.

AUGUSTA— The 2017 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign kicks-off at 8:30 a.m. on August 29 at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Avenue, in a statewide effort to commit at least 100 employers to hire at least 100 veterans and military family members during the 100-day period. Opening remarks from First Lady Ann LePage and Labor Commissioner John Butera will be followed by a hiring fair with more than 120 employers that are looking to recruit veterans, military family members and civilians. The event is open to the public.

“Through the Hire-A-Vet campaign, more employers are discovering the value veterans bring to their workforce,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Ann and I fully support this successful initiative, and look forward to helping make this year’s effort reach more employers and get more veterans good paying careers in our state. Whether you are a veteran or an employer, we urge you to connect with this campaign to help us meet Maine’s workforce needs. Veterans’ skills include teamwork, leadership, technology, and tremendous discipline that can benefit all of our businesses.”

The Maine Hire-A-Vet campaign provides support for employers to expand the hiring of veterans, to include a network of state and federal agencies, resources and nonprofits, education on military language and culture, recruiting and hiring assistance, and recognition for the hiring and advancement of veterans and military family members. Employers who want to join the 2017 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign can contact Steven Roy, Campaign Coordinator, at 207-624-5156 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. TTY users call Maine Relay 711.

At the end of the 2016 Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign, 147 employers had participated and 197 veterans were hired with an average placement wage of $22.23 per hour. Follow the campaign on social media with #MHAV17 and on Facebook, @MaineHireAVet.

The Maine Hire-A-Vet Campaign is co-sponsored by Maine Department of Labor and its CareerCenters, Boots2Roots, Easter Seals and their Veterans Count program, Live + Work in Maine, Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, Transition Assistance Advisors, VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment, Veterans, Inc., and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.

Veterans, military family members and civilians seeking assistance in job search and training are encouraged to contact their closest Maine CareerCenter, which can be found online at www.mainecareercenter.gov/locations. Veterans Representatives and Career Counselors are available at each location. Employers that pledge to join the campaign are not required to hire veterans they interview in order to participate.

Maine Department of Labor and Maine CareerCenters are equal opportunity providers. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

**Exhibitors**

- AAA Northern New England

- Acadia National Park

- Adecco

- Aero Heating & Ventilating, Inc.

- Anderson Merchandisers

- AngleZ Behavioral Health Services

- athenahealth

- Backyard Farms

- Bath Iron Works

- Blane Casey Building Contractor, Inc.

- Bonney Staffing

- Boston Brands of Maine

- Break of Day Mental Health Group

- Capital Area Staffing Solutions, Inc.

- Care & Comfort

- Catholic Charities

- Central Maine Healthcare

- Cianbro

- City of Augusta

- Community Health & Counseling Services

- Community Partners Inc.

- Cumberland County Sheriff's Office

- Cunningham Security Systems

- Dead River Company

- DuraLife-Integrity Composites LLC

- EMHS

- ESM, Inc.

- Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc.

- Fisher Engineering

- Freedom Xpress Inc.

- Futureguard Building Products, Inc.

- Geiger

- General Dynamics - Saco

- Goodwill Industries

- Gorham Sand & Gravel

- Hamilton Marine

- Hancock Lumber

- Hannaford

- HMS Host

- Hodgdon Green Elderly Care

- Hutchins Trucking Co.

- IDEXX

- Irving Forest Products

- J.S. McCarthy Printers

- Johnny's Selected Seeds

- Journey's End Marina

- Kelly Services, Inc.

- Kennebec County Sheriff's Office

- Law Office of David Levesque, P.A.

- Ledgemere Transportation

- Life Share

- Lowe's Store - Brunswick

- Lucas Tree Experts

- Maine Bureau of Human Resources

- Maine Job Corps

- Maine Department of Administrative & Financial Services

- Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry

- Maine Department of Corrections

- Maine Department of Environmental Protection

- Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family

- Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

- Maine Department of Marine Resources

- Maine Department of Public Safety

- Maine Department of Transportation

- Maine Drilling and Blasting

- Maine Office of Information Technology

- Maine Office of Secretary of State

- Maine Revenue Services

- Maine State Police

- MaineGeneral Health/MaineHealth

- Manpower

- Mid-Coast Energy Systems

- Modern Woodmen of America

- Molnlycke

- Motivational Services

- NBM Railways

- Northeast Spray Insulation, Inc.

- Norway Savings Bank

- OceanView at Falmouth

- OnProcess Technology

- Opportunity Enterprises

- Pathways of Maine

- Paul G. White Interior Solutions

- Paychex

- PCG Health

- People Ready

- Poland Springs

- Port Resources

- Portland Police Department

- Pratt & Whitney

- Prudential

- Reed & Reed

- ReVision Energy

- Sam's Club - Scarborough

- Genesis Healthcare

- Seabreeze

- Seafax-OneSource

- Securitas

- Shaw's

- Social Security Office

- South Portland Police

- Spectrum

- Spurwink Services

- St. Mary's Health System

- Superior Carriers

- TD Bank

- Texas Instruments

- The Westin Portland Harborview

- Tire Warehouse

- T-Moblie

- Tradesmen International Marine North - Transworld Systems, Inc.

- Tyler Technologies

- U.S. Cellular

- Uplift. Inc.

- UPS

- U.S. Border Patrol

- VA Maine Healthcare System

- Viking Inc.

- Woodlands Senior Living

Mainers won’t be selling recreational pot by February deadline

The legislative wheels are turning, but too slowly to move marijuana out of the black market this winter.

Article by Penelope Overton, Portland Press Herald. Read the full article here: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/08/16/mainers-wont-be-selling-pot-by-deadline/

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.

But the agencies that will oversee the launch and daily operations of Maine’s recreational market will not have time to write departmental rules, hire new inspectors and staff, and license growers, retailers and testing labs before a legislative moratorium on adult sales ends in February, said Sen. Roger Katz of Augusta, a committee co-chairman.

“We want to get marijuana out of the black market and we want to do that as quickly as possible, but we need to do it right,” Katz said. “It is such a big subject and there was so much to consider. As it is, we’re remaining silent on some subjects, leaving others to consider them on other days, because we couldn’t possibly do it all.”

In January, the Legislature delayed implementation of all but the home grow sections of the Marijuana Legalization Act until February 2018 to give the state time to draft a regulatory framework for retail cultivation and sales that will be overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

Advocates are critical of certain parts of the proposed bill, such as home grow restrictions, a requirement that most licensees have large cash deposits on hand that remain untouched, and the absence of provisions to allow for marijuana social clubs, but it is the delay in launching the recreational market that frustrates them most.

“The law as written and adopted by voters would have gotten the legal marketplace up and running as soon as possible,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine. “We could have a program ready to issue licenses now, but the committee thought it knew better than the voters. It has made one change after another, and each change pushes the timeline back ... and keeps the black market going.”

rsMcCarrier predicts that Maine will not issue its first adult-use licenses until summer 2018, more than a year and a half after voters approved it at referendum.

At past meetings, the marijuana committee agreed that Maine shouldn’t be the first state in the country to allow marijuana social clubs, limited the number of plants that could be grown for personal use on any one piece of property to 12 no matter how many people live there, and set the combined tax rate on recreational marijuana at 20 percent, with up to 5 percent of taxes collected to go to the host community.

In Maine, this tax scheme would drive the price of marijuana up from an average of about $200 an ounce to about $240, with a $20 excise tax levied on the cultivator, which would be built into the price, and a $20 sales tax charged to consumers at the time of sale. The host town would get $2 of that $40, with the rest going to the state.

On Tuesday, the committee tackled the last remaining topics of debate, some of which had left them divided at previous meetings, such as:

• Employers can refuse to hire job applicants or fire employees who use recreational marijuana, but landlords cannot reject or evict a tenant for recreational marijuana use.

• State regulatory agencies must hire law enforcement officers to enforce recreational marijuana laws, just like the state Department of Marine Resources uses patrol officers to enforce state conservation laws.

• State regulatory agencies can conduct annual or random inspections of recreational marijuana license holders, but it is not required.

• License holders can face revocation, suspension and fines of up to $100,000 for committing public safety violations, up to $50,000 for license violations and up to $10,000 for a license infraction, in addition to possible criminal penalties brought by law enforcement.

• Someone who is caught violating the home grow rules established by the bill could face up to a $1,000 fine, in addition to criminal penalties.

But the committee left other topics alone, deciding it didn’t have the time, expertise or jurisdiction to do things like deciding how recreational marijuana use is going to impact the job fitness of someone who is currently receiving unemployment benefits, or improving the state’s medical marijuana program or considering how to bring it under the same regulatory umbrella as recreational marijuana.

Committee analysts plan to have a draft bill written by the first week of September. They will meet with the committee chairmen, Katz and Rep. Teresa Pierce of Falmouth, to reconcile their summary of the committee’s various straw polls. A cleaned-up version of the draft bill will go to a Sept. 26 public hearing. The committee will discuss public testimony over the next two days before holding a final vote.

Once the measure is vetted, Katz, a Republican, and Pierce, a Democrat, will ask the state Legislature to convene a special session in October to consider the bill. The committee will have to sell the merits of the proposal to fellow lawmakers, many of whom have been on summer break while the committee did the bulk of its work, Katz said. Many lawmakers remain opposed to legalization, even after the referendum.

“We have an education job ahead of us,” Katz said. “A lot of people are not happy the law passed. To those people, I would say there are only two groups that want to see a regulated market set up – people who like marijuana and people who don’t like marijuana. Because really, we all have an interest in making the product safe, keeping it out of the hands of children, taxing it appropriately and keeping sales out of the black market.”

If approved, the agriculture and administrative and financial services departments will hire consultants to help write the rules needed to launch and run the new tightly regulated market, and guide them through the licensing process. At this point, it is up to the state’s executive branch to move as quickly as possible to launch the market, but the committee can’t force its hand with a deadline, Katz and Pierce said.

Discussions with the administration of Gov. Paul LePage have been minimal, Katz said. LePage campaigned against legalization last fall, and has said he would like to see it repealed. Katz and Pierce would like LePage to follow in the footsteps of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. He didn’t want legalization, but once voters adopted it, he worked to implement it as smoothly as possible.

They urged LePage to appoint a marijuana coordinator to his cabinet, like Hickenlooper did in Colorado, but they haven’t gotten a response to their suggestions. As lawmakers, they can’t force the regulatory agencies to begin sales until rules are in place, and there is no mechanism for speeding up the process in a responsible manner, they said.

A LePage spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Feds Can’t Interfere: Appropriations Committee Approves Amendment Again, Adds Two More States

July 27, 2017 by David Hodes 1 Comment
In a move closely watched by the cannabis industry, an amendment by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, was approved Thursday, giving another year of protection from federal interference to medical marijuana businesses in states where it has been legalized.
The amendment, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment (see link here) amends the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to prevent the implementation of states’ medical cannabis laws.
It passed overwhelmingly by voice vote.

fmuThe amendment has been included in each annual budget bill since 2014. Similar language has been carried in enacted CJS Appropriations Acts since FY15, when the House added it in a floor amendment and kept it in conference.
The only change to the Leahy amendment’s language from last year is that it includes new states (Indiana and North Dakota).
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Leahy reminded cannabis business owners and operators that “the amendment does not prevent federal law enforcement from pursuing individuals or dispensaries that are not in compliance with state laws,” and that “without this provision, Attorney General Sessions has signaled he may target medical marijuana patients and providers for violating federal drug laws.”
The amendment does not prevent federal law enforcement from pursuing individuals or dispensaries that are not in compliance with state laws.
Industry advocates were quick to respond to the good news.
National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) executive director Aaron Smith wrote in a statement that it was great to see members of the appropriations committee stand up for medical cannabis patients, and “the responsible businesses that serve them, and the states that have worked hard to create safe, regulated programs. Now it’s time for the House to do the same. Patients deserve access to care, states deserve respect, and members of the House deserve the opportunity to vote on amendments like this that have the strong support of their constituents.”
Whether or not the House of Representatives will take a vote on the amendment is unclear. They did not include its language in the version of the 2018 CJS bill that passed the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. Last year, the amendment passed on the floor of the House by a vote of 242-186. If the CJS budget is approved in the Senate, the amendment will go to a special conference committee to reach a compromise with the House. If no budget is approved by September 30, the previous amendment will be automatically renewed for another year.
In a blog on the website for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Justin Strekal, the political director at NORML, wrote that the decision to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment language by the Senate committee illustrates both compassion and common sense when it comes to marijuana policy. “Now, the majority of states and over 90 percent of the public approves of the use of marijuana as a medicine and Congress should not stand in the way of these reforms,” he wrote.
From the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), Don Murphy, a former member of the Maryland General Assembly and MPP’s director of conservative outreach, issued this statement: “More than half the states have taken a stand and said they want their seriously ill residents to have safe and reliable access to medical marijuana, and today the Senate Appropriations Committee listened. What was expected to be a very successful vote passed on an overwhelming voice vote, while opposition to the Leahy amendment was literally a whimper. That sound we heard in the Senate was the sound of a waving white flag as the federal war on medical marijuana patients and providers winds down.”
A Quinnipiac University National Poll in April found that American voters say 60 – 34 percent “that the use of marijuana should be made legal in the U.S.,” the highest level of support for legalized marijuana in a Quinnipiac University national poll. Republicans and voters over 65 years old are the only listed party, gender, education, age or racial groups to oppose legalized marijuana.
Voters also support 94 – 5 percent “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” also the highest level of support in any national poll by the the university.
Voters oppose 73 – 21 percent government enforcement of federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. No group supports enforcement in states where marijuana is legal.

In Memory Of R Cullen Stuart

We are sad to announce the tragic passing of our dear friend and long time Advisory Board member Cullen Stuart. He was a long time activist and supporter of the cannabis movement. As an elder in the community he helped educate not only our legislature and community at large, he helped educate the new generation of hemp farmers. Our support and prayers go to his family. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed!

Robert “Cullen” Stuart moved to Maine from Chariton, Iowa in the early 1980's. Always eager to learn, he graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a degree in Soil and Water Science. He worked for many years in the Lincoln Pulp and Paper Mill in the Environmental Dept., helping ensure that the mill stayed in compliance with environmental laws. Ever the fighter for truth and justice, he was a life long advocate for the hemp plant and it's many uses. In a time not so long ago, when it was not popular, if not risky, to speak out against cannabis prohibition, he never let prohibitionists malign “The Herb Superb”. His Hemp Education Booth was a strong presence at the Maine Organic Farmer and Gardner's Association Common Ground Fair for over 30 years. Throughout his life, he was an important voice of unbounded hemp enthusiasm, educating crowds of children and adults alike on the many benefits of the hemp plant to society. His love for the hemp plant was only exceeded by his love of his wife, Sarah. Cullen was a kind, generous person, always there to help before he was asked or before others even knew there was a need. He was loved by many and will be sorely missed. And don't get me started on his dissection of the so called War on Drugs...

Steve Ruhl

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Effective Testimonies

Effective testimonies

**Alert to MaineCaregivers** Public Hearing!

Wednesday, June 14th,2017

Proposed New Rules for Medical Marijuana in Maine 9:00am – Noon
Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME

PLEASE..... PLEASE...... PLEASE....... BE THERE!

Or EMAIL COMMENTS TO:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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or submit online at CDC website

http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/rulemaking_comments.shtml?id=754500

Public Comment deadline 5:oopm, 6/26/17

See MMCM's LIVE Review and Q&A Session on the proposed new rules for medical marijuana in Maine

COME JOIN US …………. Review and Q & A Session

Proposed New Rules for Medical Marijuana in Maine

MMCM will be having a forum on Monday, June 12th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
at the Homegrown Healthcare Alternative Wellness , Apothecary & Learning Center located at : 662 Stanley Road, Winthrop, ME 04364

Speakers will include:
Matt Dubois, Dubois Law, http://duboislawmaine.com
Chris McCabe, McCabe Law, LLC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Logan Perkins, Silverstein Law, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This will happen two days Prior to the Public Hearing on JUNE 14th, 2017
9:00am – Noon
Augusta Civic Center
76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME

Link to Proposed New Rules for Medical Marijuana in Maine
http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=754500&an=1

We all need to be there... or at least a written testimony! Deadline for public Comment is 5pm 6/26/17

Email Comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: or submit online at CDC Website http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/rules/rulemaking_comments.shtml?id=754500

Congress Ties Jeff Sessions' Hands on Medical Marijuana

poAt least for now, the DOJ is likely to be barred from going after pot growers, sellers and users in states where medical weed's 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.
But this week, medicinal marijuana business owners and patients are breathing a sigh of relief: The compromise bill to fund the government through September includes an extension of a provision that keeps Sessions' hands tied by explicitly barring the Department of Justice from using its resources to go after marijuana growers, sellers and users in the more than two dozen states, plus D.C., that have legalized medical marijuana – though, inexplicably, North Dakota and Indiana were left out (possibly because of a clerical error).
"Sessions is a tremendous concern. On the other hand, I don't think the Trump administration is going to want to see him busting into states that have thoughtfully legalized marijuana and the larger number of states that have legalized medical marijuana," Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon tells Rolling Stone. "I think it would cost Trump dearly amongst his support group if Sessions were to carry out that mission."


Read more here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/congress-ties-jeff-sessions-hands-on-medical-marijuana-w480509

Interesting News!

With recreational marijuana sales on horizon, Maine's MMJ program surges

The medical marijuana program in Maine is red-hot, with the number of MMJ patients swelling in the past year. But the reason for the program's success appears to be quite different than for other states' growing MMJ industries - and it could have an impact on the state's new adult-use industry. For more details, check out our exclusive Chart of the Week: https://mjbizdaily.com/?p=66911
Marijuana Business Daily | A Division of Anne Holland Ventures Inc.

What a Great Idea…for our Caregivers!

A letter sent in by one of MMCM’s dedicated members at work.....

“Catherine you are a gem! A diplomatic, sane and logical voice for the MMJ program. Listening to you last night at MMCM monthly networking meeting and, this morning on *WVOM gave me the push to start a letter campaign with my patients to their respective local representatives. Free medicine for a copy of their letter to the proper representatives. Thank You! Its' not impossible to achieve our goals, just a lot of hard work. My crew and I are rolling our sleeves up! Time to work”

*Listen to Catherine Lewis, President of MMCM, on WVOM radio this morning...responding to Governor LePages’s Comments on Medical Marijuana...... click here

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