In 1999, Maine became the fifth state in the country to legalize cannabis for medicinal use.
Voters then passed a Citizens Medical Cannabis Initiative in 2009 allowing patients who have a doctor’s certification to purchase medicinal cannabis from a registered caregiver or dispensary.
Following the passage of this Medical Cannabis Initiative, MMCM was formed as a Trade Association in 2010 to provide advocacy and education for patients, caregivers, and the public.
While implementing the Citizens Initiative, the Maine Legislature made major changes before passing it into law in 2010, including a ban on outdoor cultivation, removal of legal protections for patients, and requiring all patients be registered with the State.
In response to these dramatic changes, MMCM became active at the State House and put forth LD1296 & in 2011 the intentions of the Citizens Initiative were restored.
MMCM continued to work to improve Maine’s Medical Cannabis Laws and the Maine Medical Program became voted “the best in the country” by Americans for Safe Access.
MMCM developed an education program to teach the Maine Medical Cannabis Laws to patients, caregivers and others interested in the Program. The best business practices were the second class started to ensure compliance with the Medical Cannabis Program, Taxes and Labor Laws.
In 2017 MMCM Drafted LD1539 & LD238. This omnibus Bill opened the Maine Medical Cannabis Program for Caregivers to open Retail store fronts so medical patients would have more access to medical Cannabis. The Processors and growers in the state having the ability to grow more cannabis and produce a variety of products that are available to patients, and in the 2017-2018 128th Legislator session MMCM was diligently working with State Legislators and Lobbyist at the State house, and our presence and voice got these bills Passed! This is the Law that we are currently operating under today.
However, once again there are State Officials, Legislatures and Lobbyists for other interests pushing legislation and rules that go against the intent of the people, patients, and providers in our Maine Medical Cannabis Program.
Through education, drafting legislation, lobbying, and mobilizing efforts, MMCM and our wider community members have been, and will continue to be instrumental in defending the medical program during this time of change as cannabis is: “legalized”.