Maine voted on legalizing cannabis for all adults in the state of Maine on Nov. 8, 2016 and while we have yet to implement any retail locations for Mainer to purchase their cannabis besides established Medical Patients who can purchase cannabis from the many dispensaries around. With more popping up in anticipation of eventual implementation of our adult use cannabis laws. Why we don’t have them yet is a long story but it boils down to one basic fact.
Our Governor Paul Lepage has been the major Road block to enacting the law that we voted on. The bill has been butchered and several thing have been taken away from Mainers. Including a reduction in plant count and the elimination of cannabis social clubs for example. Maine is now going to be a better place as he is leaving office at the end of this year and hopefully with his departure the road block to retail sales will be lifted.
There has also been a shift in the acceptability of cannabis use in public. As someone who has needed to use cannabis in public to manage my pain where it felt I still had to really hide it to what it is now. As long as you are being respectful and not smoking at the entrance of a store or in a crowded area, people just don’t care anymore. Really the way it should be. This also makes it easier to share with people. For example after I got my dogs nails trimmed and buffed I saw his groomer outside vaping so we shared I joint I was about to smoke. Or the appliance delivery guys that came to my house I shared a bowl with. It’s like offering someone some tea when they are at your house. It’s only polite.
This does not mean everyone loves cannabis now. I still run into people: who don’t like it, or don’t use it, or don’t fully approve of cannabis, or believe the old stereotypes, but they are not as vocal as they once would have been and a few that are still stuck in the reefer madness area of thought, but they are few and father in-between.
Overall, I have to say that cannabis is in Maine is pretty widely accepted and that is a really good feeling.
Both the Maine House and Senate have voted on H.P 1199 L.D 1719 and after several changes to the bill the passed it. This bill only needs to be signed into law by the Governor of Maine Paul Lepage. He has 10 days to sign it or veto it. Gov. Lepage has vowed to veto the bill even though it passed with a number of votes that could easy over turn a veto. As the goal prior to sending the bill to the Governor that it should be veto proof. How did they make it veto proof? The made the bill a money grab and reduced the rights the bill allowed. Hoping that would entice the Governor into signing the bill.
The newly amendment bill changes several things from the original bill that Mainers voted for. Some of the biggest changes are a higher tax rate from 10% to 20%. Along with increasing excise taxes on the seeds, mature plants, and on bud/extracts that will be levied at the growers of adult use cannabis that will trickle down the the consumer. This also strips down the rights of Mainers to grow their own cannabis by reducing the plant count allowed from 6 mature plants to 3 mature plants. It also removes the provision to allow cannabis social clubs a place for people to gather and use cannabis. To read the bill yourself follow the link to the Maine State Legislator at the bottom of this post.
What then is governor Lepage have against the bill? Well as it was reported in The Maine Press Herald, “LePage has been pushing more consolidation of the medical and recreational industries. If the pending adult-use bill becomes law, Maine would tax recreational cannabis at an effective rate of 20 percent while taxing medical marijuana at a much lower rate of 5.5 percent, or 8 percent for medical edibles. LePage believes the tax differential would encourage recreational marijuana users to use medical marijuana instead of the adult-use market to save money.”
So if someone qualifies for medical cannabis and would save money on the taxes and that is what he has a problem with. The bill was changed to be a money grab by the state compared to what Mainers voted on and the new bill just does not seem to take enough money from people. This is actually extremely revealing in his motivations and it is honestly scary.
A few points against this thought that the medical program will not prevent the adult use program from making money. Not everyone qualifies for medical cannabis. Not everyone will want to go through the process of getting a medical card even if they do qualify. Maine is a tourist state; tourist all will pay the adult use taxes on their cannabis. Lepage is just being extra greedy on a bill that was changed to be a money grab by the state. The bill already increased the tax from 10% to 20% the tourist will pay a lot already. Stop being so greedy over a plant!
Maine might stay in our limbo of having passed adult use cannabis laws but without the ability to legally purchase adult use cannabis. If Lepage does veto the new adult use cannabis bill the numbers in the House and Senate that voted for this bill could over turn Lepage’s veto, but that is still more time and more delays in the implementation of the adult use cannabis bill.
Now that cannabis use is becoming more normalized and legal in various parts of the country and world. That I want to talk about something fun and exciting—Cannabis Parties.
What is a cannabis party? A cannabis party is party that is focused around cannabis usage and not alcohol. Make sure to tell people that these are children free events.
In Maine, we legalized adult use of cannabis and we have also had medicinal cannabis laws since 1999. So having a party with a bunch of people was completely legal. Know you local laws before hosting your own cannabis party. I have now had two amazing cannabis parties this year.
Cannabis parties can be for fun for everyone. For people with little experience with cannabis to long standing cannabis users and medical patients. It is a place to meet people and exchange stories, process, grow techniques, recipes, and of course get to try new cannabis strains, edibles and ect. The cannabis shop talk that happens when you bring cannabis growers, extractors and patients together can be an amazing learning experience and networking opportunity. The cannabis shop talk is my favorite part—I am in my element and it is invigorating.
As a host of a cannabis party it is good to make a verity of stuff. I had couple of strains of cannabis I grew and had people sample and tell me what they thought. I also asked my guest to bring and cannabis buds, dabs, or edible they wanted to share as well and most people did that were constant cannabis users. (Don’t expect occasional or light users to bring any as they don’t usually have much anyway)
I made a verity of edibles for people to try, as I love cooking and cannabis, so I tend to experiment with various foods. For my cannabis parties I had made infused cheese cake, lemonade, ice tea, cookies, and candies.Putting all infused foods on one table and letting people know what is and is not infused.
It is equally important to have non infused foods available as well. This is why I did a BBQ as well with a main course and several sides such as chips, pasta salads, veggie trays and more. Some people get the munchies from cannabis and don’t want them over indulging on cannabis edibles to satisfy their hunger. Have lots of water! People are likely to get dry mouth and want to quench their thirst. Both times I held these events more water was drank than soda. I had a large beach cool full of bottle water in ice. As the focus was cannabis not alcohol, I did not provide any and only a couple people had brought any and they only drank a small amount.
I also found that it is very helpful to have other things going on as well. I had card games going apples to apple and cards against humanity has everyone rolling in laughter. I eventually moved the party outside to a fire pit. This allows those that need time to cool down after consuming cannabis; possibly a larger dose than they are use to. If you are hosting a cannabis party, a cool down time needs to be part of your plan. You can’t feed people edibles, smoke and dab; then expect people to leave in a short period of time.
With cannabis being the center of the party verses when alcohol is the center of the party it makes for a more enjoyable atmosphere. Angry drunk fights just don’t happen. People are relaxed and in an enjoyable mood. This is why we must work to normalize cannabis use. It is a way better option than alcohol and safer at that.
I have really enjoyed having these parties and plan on hosting more of them in the future.
Have you ever had a cannabis centered party?
Have you been to a cannabis party before? Did you like it better or worse than a party with lots of beer?
Answer these questions and Tell me what you think about cannabis parties in the comments below…
So you are a legal medical cannabis patient. Your life has started to improve and maybe you don’t take as many pharmaceuticals anymore or maybe you don’t need to take any now. Your mobility has gotten better and you can once again travel around but there are now limits on your travel.
You can only travel within your own state where your medical recommendation originates in. Otherwise you can’t bring your medicine with you across state lines even if the state next to you has medical laws there is no guarantee that state will recognize an out of state medical cannabis recommendation that does not originate from their state. Plus going over state lines with cannabis is a felony.
What does that mean for the person who tries to stay within the law? A few things: If traveling you don’t bring medicine with you and therefore might suffer from your medical condition or travel only to the growing number of recreation cannabis states. Otherwise if this does not sound appealing you are a prisoner of your state unable to leave the boarders without suffering from your medical condition or forced to break the law.
Personally I support the various recreation cannabis initiatives because that mean there will be more options for medical cannabis users to be able to travel around without fear of legal recourse and it is more likely that more individual states with legalize recreation cannabis before there is interstate cooperation or federal programs for medical cannabis use.
Have you ever wanted to post something related to cannabis on your Facebook page or Tweet about your love for the only plant in the whole world that is capable of saving the world. Only to not post it because there are anti-cannabis “friends” on your list that would see that post and give you grief. It is also possible that cannabis is not recognized in your state and you don’t want it to broadcast your love of this wonderful plant because of possible legal issues. Or have you have just wanted to meet some like minded people all in one place? Any of these things are reasons why some of us have gone into a metaphorical hiding. Well there is a place your can be your self (anonymously, if you choose) and be able to discuss Cannabis. It is a new social media site on the net where the medical patient, activists, stoners, tokers, merchants and gardeners of different level of experience come together. It also has strain information powered by leafly. What is it? It’s www.Hemply.me and you can find me there @FibroMan. I had to learn more about this website and I thought it was such a great Idea I contacted Jason King the Co-founder of Hemply.me and he agreed to answer a couple of questions to help me spread the word about this site.
FibroMan: First off what gave you the idea of creating a social media targeted at the Cannabis: users, enthusiasts, scholars, medical users and ect?
Jason King: Joseph Cadle and I founded this company with a goal to connect this industry. After doing extensive research we found there were various apps and websites available for strain information, dispensary locating, and social networking. Though we could find nothing that brought these services together. We feel that this causes a gap in information. And with the federal prohibition coming to its final days, people need the proper information and ability to connect now more than ever!
FibroMan: I just found out about Hemply on Feb 18, 2015 but how long has Hemply been around?
Jason King: Hemply is a new company, we launched our social platform on February 7th, so we are very thankful for our early supporters.
FibroMan: Now that we have looked into Hemply past what about its future: What improvements to Hemply are you working on?
Jason King: In our eyes, Hemply’s future is to be the cornerstone for all information and social networking surrounding the marijuana industry. Eventually our Hemply users will be able to tag all strain information and marijuana businesses in their posts, which will greatly help the spread of information. We are also working towards tailoring people’s experience on Hemply towards what they are most interested in (recreational, medical, news, etc) so that we may more accurately base our trends and suggestions to the individual user. An example is if you’re interested in medical marijuana your suggestions are going to contain activists, news sources and bloggers and not the average user posting pictures of their bong.
FibroMan: Are you going to come up with a Hemply app? If so when is that planned on being released and in what platforms?
Jason King: We’re working the Android app now. We have only a small team of developers, so a specific date is unknown, but we hope to have the app available by summer. As far as an iOS/iPhone app is concerned, we’re currently not planning on developing one due to the strict rules of Apple requiring that users be geolocated when the app is opened, and that only users who geolocate to states in which marijuana is fully legal may use the app… This is the moral standpoint of Apple, but to us it infringes upon a users constitutional rights. If I live in Florida my opinions on the subject of marijuana, and my access to information surrounding the industry should not be dictated by a corporation. We stand strong on our belief that information and access to it shouldn’t be regulated and do not support even the idea that the right to freedom of expression in America doesn’t apply to the mobile medium.
FibroMan: How many users does Hemply have as of today?
Jason King: So far, off of word of mouth alone, we have upwards of 500 users and climbing, and are seeing good growth on a daily basis.
FibroMan: Is there anything else that you would like people to know about Hemply?
Jason King: We want people to understand that, unlike other marijuana social networks, we want to take a more mature approach. We are not looking to just appeal to the everyday casual smoker. Instead we want to reach out to the activist and patients of this movement and give them a place to truly connect as well. We would like our current users and early adapters to know that we plan to consistently bringing them value by staying at the forefront of innovation in this industry. Our goal is to be a household name in every 420 friendly household across America by the end of 2016.
It was a great pleasure to have Jason King answer some questions about his venture into a social media unlike any other currently out there today. I am now going to forward my blog post to Hemply.me as well. If I have helped you find Hemply let me know just type: Thanks @FibroMan in one of your post on Hemply I will make sure to like it. It is my hope that Hemply.me is very successful as it will only help…
“Spread Cannabis Knowledge!”
(Update: Hemply is not longer an active social media platform.)