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Maine has allowed prescribing, and limited possession, of medical marijuana since 1999 but the law lacked any distribution mechanism and questions arose of noncompliance with federal law and of how patients could legally obtain the prescribed marijuana. In October 2009 the Obama adminstration announced that it would halt prosecution of medical marijuana users and caregivers if they were in compliance with their state's law [read more]. On November 3, 2009 Maine voters approved Question 5, which enacted the citizen-initiated bill, "An act to establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act" (LD 975, IB 2). The committee file for LD 975 contains additional information, such as the activity schedule, testimony sign-in sheet, testimony submitted at the public hearing, working papers and memoranda of the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services, and the committee vote tally sheet. (The contents of the file are not word searchable.)
Maine was the fifth state to provide for dispensaries of medical grade marijuana for persons with debilitating and chronic medical conditions. These not-for-profit dispensaries will be licensed and regulated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Following the November 2009 election, results were verified by the Secretary of State [see tabulations]. Governor Baldacci's press release of November 6, 2009 detailed an executive order which set up a task force chaired by Brenda Harvey, Commissioner of DHHS. On November 17, 2009, the Governor announced the names of the members of the task force. The Task Force issued its report to the Governor on January 27, 2010. The subsequent 2010 enactment of LD 1811, the Governor's bill, paved the way for promulgation of agency rules under the Administrative Procedures Act. Emergency rules were adopted on May 5, 2010 . Only eight dispensaries (one for each of the eight districts) were approved for the first year. Instructions and applications, as well as the text of the rules, are available on DHHS' Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services webpage.

Local governments also prepared for implementation of the law. Initially one community enacted a moratorium on the dispensaries. Brewer's city council voted unanimously to ban dispensaries for six months until the state rules and procedures for operating the dispensaries were in place. Since then Auburn, Ellsworth and South Portland have enacted or plan to enact similar moratoriums. For more recent developments see news article links in the tan column on the right.



Maine medical marijuana advocates question new online certification process - 12/15/2014

Ban of medical marijuana in hospitals threatens sick children - 11-10-2014

Prescription painkiller deaths fall in Maine, other states with legal marijuana - 8/26/2014

Maine parents fight to treat sick children with medical marijuana - 12-14-2013

Federal prohibition of medical marijuana continues to handcuff now-legal industry in Maine - 9-6-2013

Maine marijuana company fined$18K for using pesticides - 9-6-2013

Medical marijuana : hundreds in Maine, apply to grow, state program takes in more than $600,000 in fees - 8/23/2013

Maine lawmakers lift ban on pesticides in medical marijuana growing - 6-17-2013

Maine bill would lift pesticide ban for marijuana plants 6-14-2013

Investigation reveals Maine medical marijuana dispensary used pesticides, violated rules 3-26-2013

Medical marijuana in the workplace 2-15-2013

Pittsfield woman sues temp agency, saying she was fired for using medical marijuana 2-12-2013

Legislator, ACLU : Maine's medical marijuana law falls short 12-11-2012

Advocates seek wider use for medical marijuana 12-6-2012

Medical marijuana: is it working? 10-21-2012

Maine State Housing commissioners lift pot ban for six months. 10-17-2012

Maine State Housing Authority to revisit medical marijuana decision. 10-16-2012

Patients, caregivers: new rules unreasonable for growing medical marijuana. 8-13-2012

Medical Marijuana: Do States Know How to Regulate It? : Colorado’s decade-long debate over how to manage medical marijuana has produced a tightly controlled approach that more states are starting to emulate. Aug 2012

Medical marijuana : how Maine is facing the challenge implementing the law 12-28-11

Pot patient privacy bill gets LePage OK 6-19-11

Maine – Panel Oks Bill To Kill Marijuana Registry 5-15-11

Bill eases Maine's medical marijuana rules 4-24-11

Maine to open first medicinal marijuana dispensaries on East Coast, but not without concerns 3-6-11

Councilors adopt medical marijuana rules 12-8-10

From 'marijuana is an herb' to 'how did this happen?' - 11-15-10

Auburn site OK'd for marijuana dispensary 11-14-10

State and federal marijuana laws collide 11-9-10

Maine's first dance with Mary Jane 8-15-10

Some Mainers object to California connection 8-15-10

Dispensaries "starting to crack the closet door" 8-15-10

Medical marijuana - caught Between state and federal law: what is an employer to do? 8-13-10

Maine's medical marijuana law runs into federal conflicts 7-13-10

Northeast Patients Group snares four of six marijuana dispensary licenses 7-13-10

Applications to Operate Maine's Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Pour in 6-25-10

Medicinal marijuana : a patient-driven phenomenon 6-14-10

Maine still struggling with new medical marijuana rules 6-8-10

Medical pot users : proposed fees too high 6-8-10

Conference addresses medical marijuana use 6-6-10

Montel Williams lights up the Maine Medical Marijuana Conference 6-6-10

State opens applications for pot shops 5-7-10

Bangor seeks moratorium on pot dispensaries 5-5-10

The East Coast stumble in legalizing medical marijuana 4-20-10

Maine bill allows 8 marijuana dispensaries 4-6-10

Medical pot deal reached : Legislative panel OKs 8 dispensaries, registration and a state ID card 3-19-10

STATE HOUSE: Growing, distributing medical marijuana at issue 3-18-10

Much work remains for medical marijuana system 3-12-10

Topsham moves closer to moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries 3-10-10


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