5.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

Legislation

Current Bills in process:

 LD 238  Click HERE to read more

 LD 1539  Click HERE to read more

 LD 1719   Click HERE to read more

 

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 

Update on LD 1539

Passed the Senate then got held (political games). They passed an amendment that kept them from dying on the table when they adjourned. They will pass on to the next special session which may be In the next couple of weeks. Then it needs to go back to the house and Senate then to the governor. Still have a ways to go. They adjourned around 1:30 this morning (4/19).

If this Bill is vetoed, we will still need to reach out to our Reps...

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

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

Current Bills in process:

 LD 1539  Click HERE to read more

LD 238 Click HERE to read more

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.

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.

The public hearing on LD 1719, An Act to Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana, has been re- scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, at 1pm in Room 216 of the Cross Office Building.

Written Testimony may be emailed to : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Key points on LD 1719 Hillary Lister's Summary

Pros
+ LD 1719 doesn't change Maine's medical marijuana laws - this is a good thing.
+ Removes 800,000 square foot canopy cap on statewide cultivation.
+Removes prohibition on cannabis magazines being available to people under 21 .
+ Removes financial escrow and bonding requirements for license applicants.
+ Ensures licensing is available for small scale and outdoor cultivation.
+ Allows licensing of nurseries.

Cons
+ Removes protections against discrimination in cases of schooling, housing, employment or custody
decisions for recreational use of cannabis (though leaves protections for medical marijuana caregivers and
patients untouched.
+ Language around employer restrictions on use of cannabis are unclear in terms of impact patients provided
protections under Maine's Medical Marijuana laws.
+Allows very large scale ( 30,000 to 40,000 + square feet) cultivation facilities creating risk of
overproduction if state decides to track and cap recreational and potentially medical cannabis cultivation.
+Fees for licenses are lower than under Medical laws, and unlikely to cover costs of implementation. 

Keep Medical Intact and Separate from Recreational

Amendments to LD 1719 are being proposed that would make major changes to medical marijuana laws
through this bill to implement recreational adult use laws.
Any amendments made by the Marijuana Legalization Implementation committee should focus on setting up
the adult use market in a way that protects Maine small businesses and public safety.
+ Keep Maine's Medical Marijuana program separate from BAB LO regulation of the recreational market.
+Don't jeopardize patient access in order to create a new commercial market for adult use.
+ Look to Maine's successful medical marijuana program for guidance in developing laws governing cannabis
under the Marijuana Legalization Act.
+ Don't replace Maine's laws that are working with Washington state's model of taxing and tracking all
cannabis that puts profits of a few big businesses ahead of patient access and safety. 

The following Bills will be scheduled for a Public Hearing for Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 9:30am Health and Human Services Committee Cross Building, Room 209

Written testimony  may be emailed to :

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Committee clerk for Health and Human Services

 Hillary Lister's summary

The following bills will be heard by the HHS Committee on January 10th. Testimony 
will be limited to three minutes per person, covering the following bills: 
L.D. 238 "An Act To Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act11
Presented by Senator Brakey 
Summary: This bill is a concept draft to amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. 
It could be used as a way to address needs of processors. 
L.D. 411 "An Act To Add Addiction to or Dependency on Opiates or Prescription Drugs to the List of Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana"
Presented by Senator BRAKEYof Androscoggin 
Summary: This bill adds addiction to or dependency on opiates or prescription drugs to the list of 
qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. 
L.D. 762 "An Act To Allow a Percentage of Funds from the Medical Use of Marijuana Fund To Fund Health Care Research"
Presented by Representative SANDERSON of Chelsea 
Summary: This bill proposes to dedicate a percentage of the funds from the Medical Use of Marijuana 
Fund to a medical marijuana research fund. Health care facilities and potentially educational 
institutions, could apply for grants to fund research proposals to study the medical efficacy of cannabis. 
L.D. 1098 "An Act To Ensure Reasonable Accommodations for Children for Whom Medical Marijuana Has Been Recommended" 
Presented. by Representative SANDERSON of Chelsea 
Summary: Current law allows the primary caregiver of a child for whom medical marijuana has been 
recommended to possess and administer the marijuana on school grounds. This bill allows a medical 
provider with whom the child has a bona fide relationship to possess and administer marijuana on 
school grounds.
L.D. 1135 "An Act To Strengthen the Efficacy of the Medical Marijuana Laws"
Presented by Representative CHACE of Durham
This bill proposed to make the following changes to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act:
1. The limit on the number of qualifying patients a primary caregiver may assist is clarified to be for a period of one calendar month or more;
2. The definition of a collective is redefined to read:
"Collective" means an association, cooperative, affiliation or group of primary caregivers who assist, physically or by electronic or any other means, each other in the act of cultivation, processing , marketing or distribution of marijuana for medical use for the benefit of the members of the collective.
There is a rebuttable presumption that a collective is created if 6 or more primary registered caregivers are located on the same parcel of land.
3. The penalties for participation in a collective are increased to require that a person who participated in a prohibited collective loses that person's primary caregiver registration for no less than 2 years and commits a Class D crime for which a fine of not less than $2,000 may be imposed, none of which may be suspended.
4. A municipality could to limit the number of primary caregivers that may operate within that municipality and enactment municipal regulations applicable to primary caregivers. 
L.D. 1527 "An Act To Ensure Safety, Quality and Transparency in the Medicat Marijuana Market and To Ensure Sufficient Funding for Regulation and Enforcement with Respect to the Retail Marijuana Industry"
Presented by Representative PERRY of Calais
Summary: This bill amends the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act in the following ways:
1. Imposes mandatory testing, labeling and record-keeping requirements on registered caregivers.
2. It provides that registered primary caregivers are subject to inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services, and by the local fire department, building inspector or code enforcement officer to confirm that no health or safety concerns are present and that local health and safety ordinances apply to registered primary caregivers.
2. It provides that mandatory testing of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products may be conducted by testing facilities licensed llllder either the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act or the Marijuana Legalization Act.
3. It imposes a special tax of 20% on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products sold by retail marijuana stores and retail marijuana social clubs. In addition to this special tax, retail marijuana and retail marijuana products would be subject to the state sales tax.
L.D. 1539 "An Act To Amend Maine's Medical Marijuana Law"
Presented by Representative SANDERSON of Chelsea
This bill amends the laws governing the cultivation, possession and use of medical marijuana in the
following ways:
1. Allows a cultivating caregiver to employ up to 5 registered employees.
2. Permits a qualifying patient to designate more than one primary caregiver to assist the patient; the additional primary caregivers may not cultivate marijuana for the patient.
3. Allows a caregiver to transfer, for reasonable compensation, up to 2 pounds of medical marijuana to another caregiver in case of extended inventory supply interruption.
4. Allows a qualifying patient who is cultivating marijuana to furnish seeds and plants to another qualifying patient if nothing of value is offered or transferred in return.
5. Permits a caregiver designated to cultivate to dispose of up to 2 pounds of marijuana by transferring the marijuana to another designated primary caregiver.
6. Allows for a caregiver to transfer, for reasonable compensation, up to 6 mature plants, 12 nonflowering plants, or up to 2.5 ounces of seeds to a person authorized to cultivate cannabis.
7. Prohibits a visiting qualifying patient who is not a resident of Maine from cultivating marijuana
8. Requires a caregiver who is assisting more than two patients who are members of the primary
caregiver's household or family to register with the Department.
9. Amends the qualifying condition of intractable pain to include pain that a medical provider determines is not managed effectively by prescription narcotics.
10. Allows a medical provider the discretion to issue a written certification for any medical condition that the physician believes may be alleviated by the patient's using marijuana for medical use.
11. Requires consultation with a minimum of 3 medical professionals, one of whom may be selected by the petitioner, prior to accepting or denying a petition to add a debilitating medical condition as a qualifying condition.
12. Removes the limit of2 1/2 ounces of prepared marijuana and establishes the allowable amount of harvested marijuana to be up to 8 pounds that may be possessed by a patient or authorized person on behalf of a patient. Establishes the allowable amount of marijuana to be up to 8 pounds per registry identification card for a designated primary caregiver required to register, no more than 8 pounds per
patient, up to 2 patients, for a primary caregiver not required to register and 8 pounds per patient for a dispensary designated by a patient.
13. Reduces the review period to 3 business days for a second physician consultation in order for a minor qualifying patient to obtain a certification when there is a list of consulting physicians. It allows the Medical Use of Marijuana Fund to be used at the Department's discretion to reimburse families for the cost of the required consultation by a second physician.
14. Extends the immunity existing for dispensary employees, principal officers and board members to registered primary caregivers and their employees.
15. Authorizes the department, in addition to law enforcement agencies, to remove marijuana determined to be in excess of allowable limits.
16. Requires Caregivers to track and report to the Department the number of patients who designated them each year.
17. Permits the department to establish a period of time when persons who have had authorizations denied or revoked are ineligible for re authorization.
18. Requires a cardholder to notify the department when the information on the card issued by the department is inaccurate or changes.
19. Amends fees for various registrations.
20. Adds penalties for a person found to be in possession of a registry identification card issued to another person.
21. Provides for an opportunity for an informal hearing process for specified persons aggrieved by a department enforcement action  
 

MMCM Bill LD1539, 128th Maine Legislature put forth by Deb Sanderson "An Act To Amend Maine's Medical Marijuana Law"

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/

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.

DHHS Proposed New Rules for Medical Marijuana in Maine *Alert to Maine Caregivers*

mmcmfl

We have received notice that the CDC has NEW Proposed and updated the rules that we all must follow to participate in the Maine Medical Marijuana Program.

This morning the following notice from DHHS regarding rules changes in Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program appeared in the Bangor Daily News classified section. As of 10:30 we have no more information than this right now, but we will keep the updates coming as new information is released and we are able to look into the details of these proposed changes. To be clear, right now these are just proposed changes that are not being implemented yet. These rules changes still have to go through the public hearing process when we will have a chance to voice any concerns we have about these proposals. So, for now, note that the public hearing will be at the Augusta Civic Center at 9:00-12:00 on the morning of June 14th.

Notice in Bangor daily news link below

AGENCY: 10-144 - Department of Health and Human Services; Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC)
CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: Ch. 122, Rule Governing the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program

PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2017-P060

BRIEF SUMMARY: This proposed rulemaking contains changes to remove outdated references to registered patients, reconstruct sections for improved organization, clarify the Department's procedures needed to implement changes enacted by the 126th and 127th Legislature, including the following: (1) allow a primary caregiver to possess and administer a minor's medical marijuana on school grounds and school buses; (2) permit certified nurse practitioners to issue written certifications for the medical use of marijuana; (3) allow primary caregivers to retain one employee; (4) allow residents of an inpatient hospice or nursing facility to use and store smokeless forms of medical marijuana in their room; and (5) permit a primary caregiver to dispose of excess prepared marijuana by transferring it to a registered dispensary, a qualifying patient, and/or another primary caregiver. The original draft of proposed changes clarified constitutions for a "collective" and reduced application fees.
Additional changes were proposed after further consideration and review by the Department. These changes include the elimination of language that duplicates statute. Changes proposed for this rulemaking also now include the following: (1) technical edits and revisions to grammar and format; (2) added definitions for bona fide medical provider-patient relationship, on-site assessment, smoking and vaporize; (3) added requirement for Department approval prior to a dispensary acquiring excess prepared marijuana from a registered caregiver; (4) increased consistency for caregivers and dispensaries for plant limit for outdoor cultivation; (5) removal of the provision requiring the proof of identification of authorized persons be held by the caregiver or dispensary while the person is in the cultivation area; (6) allowance for the Department to permit a medical provider to proceed with certifying a minor patient in the absence of a list of willing consulting physicians; (7) added requirement for a petition to add a debilitating condition to be endorsed by a medical provider; (8) added provisions for vaporizing marijuana for medical use; (9) prohibition of cultivation by a visiting patient; (10) added requirement for reporting of inventory and patient designation counts; (11) in Section 10, establishment of procedural details of the Department's monitoring process to ensure program compliance; and (12) clarification of the processes employed by the Department for approving applications, designations, transfer of excess marijuana and the issuance of written certification.

PUBLIC HEARING: June 14, 2017 - 9 a.m.-noon, Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

COMMENT DEADLINE: 5 p.m., June 26, 2017
CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING / SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT INFORMATION: Bridget Bagley; 286 Water Street, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Telephone: (207) 287-9394. Fax: (207) 287-5807. TTY: 711. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
FINANCIAL IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES: None
http://classifieds.bangordailynews.com/.../42BAA4440cacd1FBFE...
I dont see the proposed rules posted yet but will be watching and we have some one ready to review the rules when they are available and will keep you all posted.

MMCM Board Members

Legislative Updates! Still working on Rules and Regulations.....

Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee

Schedule for the week of 5/1/17 - 5/5/17

Tuesday: 5/2/17 1:00pm Committee discussion of licensing of retail marijuana testing laboratories and health and safety issues. Committee discussion of requirements for licensees of retail cultivation facilities. Meeting to include 30-minute public comment period on the licensing of retail marijuana cultivation facilities.

Friday: 5/5/17 9:00am Continued committee discussion of licensing of retail marijuana cultivation facilities. Meeting to include 30-minute public comment period on licensing of retail marijuana cultivation facilities.

Public Hearing.....

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

1:00pm State House Room #436 Public hearing for work session LD 1333
"An act to enact the drug trafficking Offender Registration and notification Act"

New Bills out ......... this week

LD 1406 "An Act To Promote Prescription Drug Price Transparency"

SUMMARY
This bill amends the law governing profiteering in prescription drugs. The bill requires more disclosure of drug production, research and development costs, marketing and advertising costs and actual costs paid upon purchase. The bill allows investigations by the Attorney General of violations of these provisions. The bill adds a required written report from the Attorney General each year.

New Bills out last week......

LD 1491: "An Act To Provide for Safety, Quality and Transparency in the Retail Marijuana Industry"
This Bill appears to have been crafted by dispensaries and pertains to adult use. The following summarizes it's scope:

1. It transfers the state licensing authority from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.

2. It allows for the limited sale of marijuana for adult use while the bureau begins the rule-making process and issuing licenses for retail marijuana establishments pursuant to those rules by allowing dispensaries registered under the Maine Medical Use of on a notfor- profit basis and exempts such reorganizations from the requirement to obtain court
approval or provide notice.

6. It imposes Maine state residency requirements on all applicants. It also allows for the transfer of a retail marijuana establishment or social club license to a person or entity that does not meet the residency requirement and allows for investment in a retail marijuana establishment or social club license by a person or entity that does not meet the residency requirement once the retail marijuana establishment or social club licensee has been operational for 2 years.

7. It allows for an entity or individual with a minority ownership interest in a retail marijuana testing facility to also have an ownership interest in a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club to encourage investment in retail marijuana testing facilities. It prohibits testing facilities from testing retail marijuana and retail marijuana products from or intended to be sold at a medical dispensary, by a caregiver or at a retail marijuana establishment or social club in which the retail marijuana testing facility licensee has any financial interest.
Marijuana Act to sell limited marijuana retail products to persons 21 years of age or older in accordance with certain conditions. These early sales provisions are repealed December 31, 2018 unless the bureau has not, as of December 31, 2018, begun issuing licenses for retail marijuana establishments, in which case the dispensaries can continue to sell limited marijuana retail products until the bureau begins, through final agency action,
to issue licenses for retail marijuana establishments. It allows registered dispensaries to purchase marijuana and marijuana products from registered primary caregivers for purposes of distribution to persons 21 years of age and older. It imposes a tax of 10% of the sale price of limited marijuana retail products. It allocates 10% of the tax revenue to the municipality where the tax-paying dispensary is located, 45% of the tax revenue to the Department of Health and Human Services to fund regulatory oversight and enforcement of sales of limited marijuana retail products as well as efforts by the department to deter use of marijuana by persons under 21 years of age and the remaining
45% to the bureau to fund administration, regulatory development and enforcement of the Marijuana Legalization Act. It also imposes state sales tax on limited marijuana retail products.

3. It imposes additional financial qualifications on applicants for retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs to ensure future regulatory compliance.

4. It imposes annual financial audit responsibilities on all license holders.

5. It removes the requirement that a dispensary under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act be incorporated under the Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act and operated

LD 1499: "An Act To Better Regulate Marijuana"
Another Bill that appears to have been written by dispensary interests however pertains only to Adult Use. Here is the Summary:
This bill proposes to revise the laws regarding recreational marijuana sales and use to:

1. Change the state licensing authority from the Department of Agriculture,
Conservation and Forestry to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations;

2. Clarify the licensing preferences for medical marijuana dispensaries and
caregivers under the Marijuana Legalization Act;

3. Establish a provisional license to allow marijuana dispensaries licensed under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act to participate in the retail sale of marijuana prior to the establishment of licenses for retail marijuana establishments;

4. Expand protections for minors by modeling the laws regarding distribution,
possession and use of marijuana by persons under 21 years of age on the laws prohibiting the distribution, possession and use of alcohol by persons under 21 years of age;

5. Establish a special marijuana tax at the rate of 10% on the retail sale of marijuana by marijuana dispensaries. This tax is in addition to the sales tax currently imposed on medical marijuana and is only imposed until the retail sale of marijuana by other establishments is authorized by the bureau;

6. Modify the record-keeping, audit and other compliance requirements of a person licensed as a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club;

7. Authorize a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary to reorganize as a for-profit entity; and

8. Increase the sales tax on retail marijuana and marijuana products from 10% to 20%.

LD 1527: "An Act To Ensure Safety, Quality and Transparency in the Medical Marijuana Market and To Ensure Sufficient Funding for Regulation and
Enforcement with Respect to the Retail Marijuana Industry"
This Bill seems to make an attempt at increasing safety in both programs and does not appear overly excessive.
This bill amends the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act in the following ways.

1. It imposes mandatory testing, labeling and record-keeping requirements on
registered dispensaries. It provides that registered dispensaries are subject to inspection by the local fire department, building inspector or code enforcement officer to confirm that no health or safety concerns are present and that local health and safety ordinances apply to registered dispensaries.

2. It imposes mandatory testing, labeling and record-keeping requirements on
registered primary caregivers. It provides that registered primary caregivers are subject to inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure regulatory compliance. It provides that registered primary caregivers are subject to inspection by the local fire department, building inspector or code enforcement officer to confirm that no health or safety concerns are present and that local health and safety ordinances apply to registered primary caregivers.

3. It provides that mandatory testing of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products may be conducted by testing facilities licensed under either the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act or the Marijuana Legalization Act.

4. It imposes a special tax of 20% on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products sold by retail marijuana stores and retail marijuana social clubs to ensure that the tax revenue generated is sufficient to fund enforcement and regulation with respect to the retail marijuana industry. It also provides that in addition to this special tax, retail marijuana and retail marijuana products are subject to the state sales tax.

Lastly, we have MMCM's Bill:

LD 1539: "An Act to Amend Maine's Medical Marijuana Laws".
Summary:

1. Amends definitions to add terms and to expand upon or provide clarity for
existing terms;

2. Amends the qualifying condition of intractable pain to include pain that a medical provider determines is not managed effectively by prescription narcotics and allows a medical provider the discretion to issue a written certification for any medical condition that the physician believes may be alleviated by the patient's using marijuana for medical use. It also requires consultation with a minimum of 3 medical professionals, one of whom may be selected by the petitioner, prior to accepting or denying a petition to add a
debilitating medical condition as a qualifying condition;

3. Replaces the limit of 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana that may be dispensed to a
qualifying patient who is a Maine resident during a 15-day period with a limit of no more than 2 pounds in one transfer;

4. Allows a qualifying patient who is cultivating marijuana to furnish seeds and
plants to another qualifying patient;

5. Permits a qualifying patient to designate more than one primary caregiver to assist the patient; the additional primary caregivers may not cultivate marijuana for the patient;

6. Prohibits a visiting qualifying patient, who is not a resident of Maine, from
cultivating marijuana;

7. Permits a primary caregiver designated to cultivate marijuana to furnish seeds and plants to an authorized person;

8. Increases the number of employees that a registered cultivating primary caregiver may employ. A primary caregiver designated to cultivate can employ one person for each registry identification card the caregiver is issued;

9. Permits a primary caregiver designated to cultivate marijuana to dispose of
marijuana by transferring the marijuana to a designated primary caregiver; current law allows the transfer to a dispensary;

10. Allows for certain authorized transfers of marijuana by a primary caregiver
designated to cultivate marijuana for reasonable compensation;

11. Allows a primary caregiver who is assisting no more than 2 patients who are members of the primary caregiver's household or family to not register with the department;

12. Authorizes a primary caregiver designated to cultivate marijuana to cultivate up to 6 mature marijuana plants per registry identification card. The maximum number of plants allowed for cultivation is the same as in current law;

13. Removes the limit of 2 1/2 ounces of prepared marijuana and establishes the allowable amount of harvested marijuana to be up to 8 pounds that may be possessed by a patient or authorized person on behalf of a patient. It also establishes the allowable amount of marijuana to be up to 8 pounds per registry identification card for a designated primary caregiver required to register, no more than 8 pounds per patient, up to 2 patients, for a primary caregiver not required to register and 8 pounds per patient for a
dispensary designated by a patient;

14. Establishes tracking and reporting requirements for primary caregivers and
dispensaries;

15. Permits the Department of Health and Human Services to inspect areas related to marijuana for medical use to assess compliance with the laws regulating marijuana;

16. Reduces the review period from 10 days to 3 business days for a 2nd physician consultation in order for a qualifying patient who is a minor to obtain a written certification when there is a list of consulting physicians and permits a physician to proceed with certification for a minor in the absence of a consulting physician list maintained by the department. It allows the Medical Use of Marijuana Fund to be used at the department's discretion to reimburse families for the cost of the required consultation by a 2nd physician;

17. Extends the immunity existing for dispensary employees, principal officers and board members to registered primary caregivers and their employees;

18. Authorizes the department, in addition to law enforcement agencies, to remove marijuana determined to be in excess of allowable limits;

19. Permits the department to establish a period of time when persons who have had authorizations denied or revoked are ineligible for reauthorization;

20. Requires a cardholder to notify the department when the information on the card issued by the department is inaccurate or changes;

21. Amends fees for various registrations;

22. Adds a sanction for a person found to be in possession of a registry identification card issued to another person; and

23. Provides for an opportunity for an informal hearing process for specified persons aggrieved by a department enforcement action.

New bill is out… that definitely will effect us.

LD 1527 "An Act To Ensure Safety, Quality and Transparency in the Medical Marijuana Market and To Ensure Sufficient Funding for Regulation and Enforcement with Respect to the Retail Marijuana Industry"

This bill amends the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act in the following ways.

1. It imposes mandatory testing, labeling and record-keeping requirements on registered dispensaries. It provides that registered dispensaries are subject to inspection by the local fire department, building inspector or code enforcement officer to confirm that no health or safety concerns are present and that local health and safety ordinances apply to registered dispensaries.

2. It imposes mandatory testing, labeling and record-keeping requirements on registered primary caregivers. It provides that registered primary caregivers are subject to inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure regulatory compliance. It provides that registered primary caregivers are subject to inspection by the local fire department, building inspector or code enforcement officer to confirm that no health or safety concerns are present and that local health and safety ordinances apply to registered primary caregivers.

3. It provides that mandatory testing of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products may be conducted by testing facilities licensed under either the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act or the Marijuana Legalization Act.

4. It imposes a special tax of 20% on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products sold by retail marijuana stores and retail marijuana social clubs to ensure that the tax revenue generated is sufficient to fund enforcement and regulation with respect to the retail marijuana industry. It also provides that in addition to this special tax, retail marijuana and retail marijuana products are subject to the state sales tax.

UPDATE on Work Session and Also LD1135

Yesterday, the Committee on Health and Human Services divided along party lines on LD 764 "An Act To Prohibit the Exclusion of a Patient from Eligibility for an Organ Transplant Based on Medical Marijuana Use" to produce a Majority who voted that the Bill 'Ought Not Pass'. As you know, current Medical Recommendation holders in the state may donate organs, but not receive them. We would like to urge you to contact your local Rep (See Link Below), and urge them to vote for the 'Minority Report' on LD 764 when it is voted on in the House. This will likely be early next week, so that Time Is Critical. The Minority Report ammends the language to read:

4905A Discrimination prohibited.

(2) For the purposes of medical care, including organ transplants, a registered qualifying patient's authorized use of marijuana in accordance with this chapter shall be considered the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medication used at the direction of a physician, and shall not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a qualifying patient from needed medical care.

Share this with friends and lets get the word out! Click on Link to see your Representatives

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

Also, LD 1135

"An Act to Strengthen the Efficacy of the Medical Marijuana Laws"

LD 1135 is currently tabled in the House awaiting reference to committee. The original committee suggested was the 'Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee'. As this Bill restructures several important facets of Maine's Medical Marijuana Program, it is Critical that this bill be assigned to the 'DHHS Committee' and worked by seasoned lawmakers who understand the challenges of the Medical Program. Please contact your Representatives and urge them to have the House assign LD 1135 to the DHHS Committee. Here are some points that you can refer to. Thank you for your time!

Dawsons letter

MMCM LEGISLATIVE REPORT. IMPORTANT DATES THIS WEEK …….

Work Session: Thursday April 6th 1-4PM LD 764 - "An Act To Prohibit the Exclusion of a Patient from Eligibility for an Organ Transplant Based on Medical Marijuana Use" Cross Bldg. Rm# 209. This will be one of four Bills they will be working on.
Audio Link: http://legislature.maine.gov/Audio/ -209 

New Bills Out This Week:

- Maine

LD 1209 – “An Act To Reserve for County Government One Percent of the Excise Tax Revenue from the Sale of Retail Marijuana” By Rep. Martin of Sinclair. This Bill seeks to give 1% of all sales tax back to counties to offset policy development, enforcement and planning costs associated with Adult Use.

- Federal

S.777 – “A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow deductions and credits relating to expenditures in connection with marijuana sales conducted in compliance with State law.” By Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]
S.780 – “A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the gap between Federal and State marijuana policy, and for other purposes” By Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]
S. 776 - A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the taxation and regulation of marijuana products, and for other purposes. By Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]
H.R. 1841 - “To provide for the regulation of marijuana products, and for other purposes” By Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2]
H.R. 1824  – “To amend the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the gap between Federal and State marijuana policy, and for other purposes.” By Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]
H.R. 1823 – “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the taxation and regulation of marijuana products, and for other purposes” By Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]
H.R. 1820 – “To authorize Department of Veterans Affairs health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions to veterans regarding participation in State marijuana programs”
H.R. 1810 - “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow deductions and credits relating to expenditures in connection with marijuana sales conducted in compliance with State law” By Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26]

We need your Support! Come on Folks ….. Save our Medical Program

Next week on Tuesday April 4th at 1PM, there will be a Public Hearing on LD 1064 "An Act To Require That Health Insurance Policies Cover Medical Marijuana".

The Hearing will take place in Cross Bldg. Rm # 220. You can come and submit 2-3 minutes of verbal testimony to the Committee or Submit written testimony. Instead of printing of 20 copies, we would advise you to print off your own, and submit a digital copy to the clerk via email (toner is Pricey).

Submit your testimony to the Committee Clerk, Veronica Snow. Her email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Audio Link for the Committee is provided here, so feel free to listen in!
Audio Link: Audio Link: http://legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#220

Also, Same Day same time.....
There will be a Work Session on LD 243 “An Act To Change the oversight Agency for Recreational Marijuana from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations and to Allocate Funds for Implementation”
The Hearing will take place in Cross Bldg Rm #216.

Submit your testimony to the Committee Clerk, Steven Langlin. His email is
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Important Dates This Week and Next Week

Another meeting will be on Friday, March 24th, at 9:00 AM and covers the Adult Use program coming under the control of BABLO. Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations (Same Audio Link)
Live Audio: http://legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#216
NEXT WEEK: On Monday, March 27th at 1PM there will be a Public Hearing on LD 764 "An Act To Prohibit the Exclusion of a Patient from Eligibility for an Organ Transplant Based on Medical Marijuana Use" Four other bills will also be heard.
Audio Link: http://legislature.maine.gov/Audio/#209

LD 938 – “An Act To Harmonize Provisions of "An Act To Legalize Marijuana" with Related Provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act” By Rep. Hamann of So. Portland
This Bill seeks to unify Adult Use and Medical programs with respect to areas that affect Public Health (Only). These areas include Product Testing, Product Labeling, Child-Safe Packaging and Inspection Requirements.
LD 854 – “An Act To Correct Errors and Inconsistencies in the Marijuana Legalization Act as Approved by the Voters” By Rep Hamann of So. Portland
The Bill is an attempt to fix the internal errors of the Adult Use Bill i.e: ‘No sanctions for use by a minor’.
LD 764 – “An Act To Prohibit the Exclusion of a Patient from Eligibility for an Organ Transplant Based on Medical Marijuana Use” By Rep. Sanderson of Chelsea
764 will remove ‘Use of Marijuana’ as a condition to preclude an individual from receiving an organ transplant.
LD 799 – “An Act To Protect Landlords and Tenants from the Deleterious Effects of Marijuana Use” By Rep. Handy of Lewiston
Allows Landlords to prohibit Cultivation, Possession and Use of Marijuana on their property. INCLUDES MMJ

New Bills Out this Week

LD 1075 "An Act to Eliminate Drug Use among Welfare Recipients
LD 1052 "An Act to allow Drug Testing prior to Providing Welfare Benefits"
LD 855 "An Act to protect Children from Edible Cannabis Products"
LD 1064 "An Act to Require that Health Insurance Policies cover Medical marijuana"
LD 1098 "An Act To Ensure Reasonable Accommodations for Children for Whom Medical Marijuana Has Been Recommended"

We need to stick together… as communities joining across Maine!

Everyone has seen Municipalities take an aggressive stance in the wake of the Adult Use vote in November. Some have enacted land use Ordinances and Zoning, while others have outright Banned (Newport). Many Municipalities have also not bothered to distinguish between Medical providers from Adult Use providers.
Another consideration on the table will be LD 672 "An Act To Clarify a Municipality's Authority To Adopt and Enforce Land Use Regulations for Marijuana Facilities"
We would like to ask help from the general public to Confront this and be present to advise Municipalities so that we do not suffer an unintentionally altered Medical access issue taken on at the Local level.
ACTION: We would like to ask members of the general public, patients and other concerned citizens to reach out, by either calling or emailing our office. Let us know if you know of municipalities which are enacting these local rules. Information you provide us with... can help protect Maine’s Patients and Caregivers from costly legislative errors made at the local level. We will need all members of our communities to engage, to help educate our local selectmen and town representatives on how we can improve situations that towns face across Maine. MMCM would like to track these municipalities so that we can help to organize community outreach and engagement with these municipalities. This will be a complex task and we need YOUR help!!
MMCM Office Phone: (207) 596-3501
MMCM Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
MMCM Municipality Tracking Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/.../2599821844559.../admin_activities

 

Another note, on the Federal side....

HR 975 Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017

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 a person who produces, possesses, distributes, dispenses, administers, or delivers marijuana in compliance with state laws.

Lets encourage folks to call or email their congress and senate Representatives in Washington DC; that would be Polliquin, Pingree, Collins, and King. Ask them to vote for and co-sponsor HR975, Respect Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 in the 115th Congress. Request a written response....

Catherine Lewis, Board Chair along with Directors, Darrell Gudroe and Hamilton Hall give testimoney on behalf of MMCM

Catherine Lewis, Board Chair along with Directors, Darrell Gudroe and Hamilton Hall attended the public forum before the Marijuana Legalization Committee, on Feb 28th, 2017 to give testimoney on behalf of MMCM

February 28, 2017

Good afternoon Senator Katz and members of the committee. I am speaking on beh_plf of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine Trade Association members, that consists of caregivers and patients who depend on medical cannabis to treat a variety of illnesses.

I am the board chair, a caregiver and a patient myself. I have concerns surrounding the implementation of the Adult Use program. On the news, in the papers and in these very halls, it has been asked , "Why do we need the Medical Program if we have Adult Use?" Just the fact the question is being asked is concerning. This concern leads me to wonder how many people have real ly been paying attention to the current program and the testimonies that have been presented by patients, caregivers and other professionals over the past several years as we have been improving our Medical Program. If you are not aware, we have one of the best medical programs in the nation. Our patients have privacy that many states do not offer. Other states are trying to emulate us. Our trade organization receives calls from other states looking for guidance in improving their own programs. I'm greatly concerned to hear that some believe we should merge our medical program into the recreational market.

As a caregiver I consult with many patients. Most are seriously ill. Many are older and require assistance finding what works for them. Most are concerned with privacy. It takes time to develop a relationship and trust. I often work with their recommending doctor in developing a strategy and ongoing updates are necessary as the patient progresses. The service I and many other caregivers provide would not be available in a retail setting. As a caregiver the strains I grow are chosen based on the needs of my clients. We have several strains that are low the, and high cbd which will not get the patient "high" but treats many ailments. They are not easy strains to grow, they have lower yields than others and are not popular with the recreational markets. My patients depend on these strains, and they would not be readily available in the retail setting. They are not what'the majority of recreational customers would be looking for and would not make sense for adult use growers - which is an important issue to differentiate: medical marijuana patients are patients, not customers. The custom products that I produce out of these various strains would be difficult for patients to find in a retail setting. I customize strengths and dosages based on the individual patients needs, not in bulk.

These scenarios are not unique to me. This is our current medical marijuana program. This is the type ofservice that many caregivers offer to medical patients. I have been teaching classes for the past several years for caregivers who want to be able to t ruly take care of the seriously ill. The Trade Association has almost 500 members. Our program currently services over 50,000 patients. There are 8 dispensaries and over 3000 active caregivers. We need to protect, preserve and promote our medical program, the patients and the small businesses that currently serve them.

It also should be mentioned that the people of Maine when presented with the bill before voting for adult use were assured the medical program would not be impacted by " legalizing adult use." To immediately turn around and suggest sunsetting the medical program into adult use defies voter intent.

Thank you for your time and attention,
Catherine Lewis
Board Chair/Director of Education

A PDF containing all of the written testimony submitted to the MU Committee prior to and during the February 28th public forum has been posted to the Committee's webpage, http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/opla/MLIPUBLICTESTIMONYFeb28.pdf

Legislative Update February 13, 2017

The Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation has been established. In addition to considering marijuana-related bills, the committee has been given the authority to submit its own legislation. It appears that most of the proposed bills which pertain to marijuana will be referred to this committee.

At this time only a few of the proposed bills mention medical marijuana:
LD 231, SP 77 An Act To Allow Municipalities To Regulate the Growing of Marijuana
Presented by Senator Davis of Piscataquis. Cosponsored by Representative Nadeau of Winslow and
Senators Cyrway of Kennebec, Dill of Penobscot, Representative Handy of Lewiston.

This bill allows a municipality to restrict the cultivation of marijuana for recreational or medical use to certain areas in the municipality or to prohibit cultivation entirely within the municipality. This bill allows a municipality to restrict the cultivation of marijuana for recreational or medical use to certain areas in the municipality or to prohibit cultivation entirely within the municipality. The bill applies to cultivation of marijuana under the Marijuana Legalization Act and the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Referred to Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation on Jan 31, 2017.

LD 389, SPO 130 An Act To Promote Access to Financial Institutions by Entities That Are Authorized under State Law
Presented by Senator Hamper of Oxford.
This bill allows state-chartered credit unions to procure private insurance in lieu of share insurance from the National Credit Union Administration to facilitate the provision of financial services to registered dispensaries or registered caregivers authorized under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, to entities licensed under the Marijuana Legalization Act and to their employees.
Reference Committee Insurance and Financial Services
Last House Action 2/2/2017 - The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES. In concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
Last Senate Action 2/2/2017 - Committee on INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES suggested and ordered printed REFERENCE to the Committee on INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
Ordered sent down forthwith for concurrence

LD 411, SPO138 An Act To Add Addiction to or Dependency on Opiates or Prescription Drugs to the List of Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana
Sponsored By: Senator BRAKEY of Androscoggin
Cosponsored By: Senator BELLOWS of Kennebec, Senator CHIPMAN of Cumberland,
Senator DION of Cumberland, Representative HAMANN of South Portland,
Representative HICKMAN of Winthrop, Senator KATZ of Kennebec, Senator MIRAMANT of Knox,
Senator SAVIELLO of Franklin

The Maine Legislature provides a bill tracking & text search tool for all proposed legislation. Choose session 128th and type “marijuana” in the text search. The full content, sponsors and status information can be viewed http://legislature.maine.gov/bills/default_ps.asp?snum=128&PID=0

Legislative Update Jan 30, 2017

The Governor has signed LD 88, HP 66,128th Legislature

An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act

Maine Gov. Paul LePage used an executive order to move oversight of licensing and enforcement relating to legal marijuana to the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations. The governor says the alcoholic beverages bureau has expertise in managing retail sales, licensing and enforcement, and thus should have oversight.

In short and within set limitations, possessing and growing marijuana for recreational purposes is now legal, while buying or selling it is not legal yet. The state has until next year to develop rules for regulating new retail stores. Medical marijuana policy hasn’t changed.

The Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation has been established. In addition to considering marijuana-related bills, the committee has been given the authority to submit its own legislation.

Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau of Winterport said the committee has a busy session ahead of it. “There is an enormous amount of work ahead for this committee because of the myriad issues surrounding legalization that concern public safety, retail sales of the drug and state government oversight, to name a few,”

The members of the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation:

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, co-chairman

Sen. Kimberley Rosen, R-Bucksport

Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Calais

Sen. Mark Dion, D-Portland

Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford

Rep. Teresa Pierce, D-Falmouth, co-chair

Rep. Kimberly Monaghan, D-Cape Elizabeth

Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland

Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop

Rep. Erik Jorgensen, D-Portland

Rep. Lydia Blume, D-York

Rep. Donald Marean, R-Hollis

Rep. Bruce Bickford, R-Auburn

Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington

Rep. Patrick Corey, R-Windham

Rep. Michael Perkins, R-Oakland

Rep. Kent Ackley, I-Monmouth

And on the national level, Congress must decide before April 28 whether to reapprove the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment and if it does not, the Department of Justice would be able to use federal funds to prosecute individuals in the state-legal medical marijuana industry.

***LD 88, HP 66, 128th Legislature Public Hearing is being heard Today!!!!

An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act

This is your chance to give testimony...if you cannot make it today, please do a written testimony and Email to your Representative, send to : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*Please stress the importance of preserving the Medical Program during implementation of Adult Use

Legislative Update January 18, 2017

The work of the 128th session of the Maine Legislature has begun. There may be as many as 70 marijuana bills working their way through the system but this number is not unusually large. There were 83 bills sponsored in the 127th Legislative Session.
The titles of the sponsored bills for this session have been released but not the content. These titles provide clues and topics include: Edibles, OUI, Testing, Repeal, Regulate.
Leading the others on information release and scheduling are two sponsored bills.

LD 88, HP 66,128th Legislature An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act

HP 96,128th Legislature Joint Order, Establishing the Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation

The Maine Legislature provides a bill tracking & text search tool for all proposed legislation. Choose session 128th and type “marijuana” in the text search. The full content, sponsors and status information can be viewed http://legislature.maine.gov/bills/default_ps.asp?snum=128&PID=0

MMCM has submitted a comprehensive bill to expand the medical marijuana program and to regulate that expansion. An Act to Amend Maine’s Medical Marijuana Law. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Deb Sanderson and Senator Eric Brakey. The bill is at the Revisor’s Office awaiting production into final form. The Revisor's Office is the Legislature's central production office where all legislative instruments, including bills and amendments, are initially filed and then produced in final form for introduction. The final form of the bill will be available when it has completed the Revisor’s process.

Update on status of Legalization……

The Govenor has signed off on the legalization bill. It will take effect in 30 days.However the State has nine months to develop the program rules. There is no retail sales at this time. Caregivers and Dispensaries still must only sell to current card holding patients. After 30 days any Maine resident over the age of 21 will be able to posses or grow their own 6 flowering plants.

We at MMCM are still working on bills that will grant patients greater and safer access to Medical Cannabis. Tomorrow at the Hall of Flags, we will have a table and our legislative committee will be there to help educate our Representatives and Senators on why we need to protect and preserve the Medical program.

Catherine Lewis