Reflections, After Legalizing Cannabis for Adult Use in Maine.

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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.

Maine-Governor-Vetoes-Bill-to-Regulate-Sale-and-Tax-on-Adult-Use-Marijuana-facebook 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.

Spread Cannabis Knowledge!
FibroMan

420 Canceled Early

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The Compassionate Caregivers Of Maine also know as CCM decided to hold a 420 event this year. They rented the American Legion in Gardiner Maine and informed them it was going to be a 420 cannabis event for legal card carrying medical patients and that cannabis use would happen outside on the premise in a designated smoking/vaping tent. Along with having a few vendors. All of this was approved before the event was to take place. Or so we thought…

I should up early to the event to help lend a hand. In the vape tent there was an Ice sculpted dab rig and that thing hit amazing. Mad props to subzero ice sculpting. That thing was amazing. Although it did not last long the metal table it sat on was at a slight angle and in the direct sunlight. It slide off the table while our backs were turned. There was some amazing infused cotton candy.

icerigsubzero

Shortly after the CCM 420 event was scheduled to start the bartender showed up. Realize it was a cannabis event where there was edibles and people smoking cannabis on the property. She had some moral abjection to cannabis people and called the police. Who never showed by the way. But they did call the Company Commander of the American legion. Who basically had the event canceled. So it is okay to drink poison but not okay to use plant biased medicine. Strange that the legion would approve the event and then turn around and do this. I am not happy with the legion and they will hear from me.

Maine has had legal medical cannabis since 1999 that is almost 20 years now and we have had legal adult use laws since 2016,  but still waiting on retail regulations. Today we really got to see where we are in our regulations. We may have legal cannabis use but we are not quite at the point of being able to hold cannabis events in Maine. And that is a shame.

Maine’s Adult Use Marijuana Bill reviewed and the limbo Maine is in.

potlawsBoth 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.

Spread Cannaibs Knowledge!
FibroMan

Maine State Legislator:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1719&PID=1456&snum=128

Portland Press Herald:

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/16/lepage-said-he-intends-to-veto-retail-pot-bill/

Cannabis Parties–A trend of the future…

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…

And as always,

Spread Cannabis Knowledge!
FibroMan

MMJ Patient Taken Off Organ Transplant-list because of Medical Cannabis

 

I was shocked the other day. On my local news a medical cannabis patient in the state of Maine was being denied a kidney because he was a cannabis patient. Then shortly after that I saw on Facebook an Attn: Video about Garry Godfrey the same cannabis patient. I shared his story on social media immediately; I did not even realize this was a potential issue for the cannabis patient in the state of Maine.

Gary had been on Maine’s transplant list for a kidney since 2003 and in 2010 the hospital changed it’s policy on cannabis. Maine legalized medical cannabis in 1999 and 11 years later, they suddenly change their policy?

Garry was faced with an impossible choice. Stop using medical cannabis. Then wait a year before being let on the bottom list again and wait. OR Continue to use medical cannabis and be taken off the list and fight to change the law. He chose the latter. Why? Pharmaceuticals had not been able to treat his condition adequately. Cannabis let him be a father to his children; when pharmaceuticals had not been up to the job. What would you choose? In his own words, “I should have never had to choose between a life saving organ transplant and a life saving medicine.”

WMTW (My local news station) Had attempted to get a comment out of Maine Medical Center but the spokesmen for the hospital would not commit on this case. According to Maine Medical Centers their drug policy, “Our Drug Use policy currently prohibits transplant candidates from using marijuana, due to the risk of an invasive fungal infection known as Aspergillosis.” But what is the real risk of Aspergilloisis in cannabis? Maine being a legal medical and adult use state has cannabis testing labs. Why not have patient test their cannabis? What about extractions of cannabis oil (RSO) and Dabs? That process should kill any molds and as stated before the Maine cannabis labs can test for molds. I was curious to how common this mold would be found on cannabis and emailed one of the labs and waiting to hear back still.

I had also become curious to what else Aspergillosis might be found in. According to Steep Hill Media report on mycotoxins, “routine laboratory testing for Aspergillus and Ochratoxin is done on coffee beans, red wine, cereals and dried fruits because of these concerns, [and] Another commonly-appearing Aspergillus strain is a mycotoxin called Aflatoxin, which is among the most carcinogenic chemicals known. Aflatoxin has been found in the breast milk of mammals eating contaminated feed, peanut butter, cooking oils such as olive oil, and in patients using contaminated cosmetics. Liquid chromatography (LC) testing has shown at least faint traces of Aflatoxin in at least 50% of food samples tested.”

17554359_1269021163212829_755973993754232425_n.jpgI reached out and asked Garry if these things that are tested for aspergillosis and could pose a simular risk of exposers to aspergillosis are on the restricted list or might disqualify a potential organ recipient. None of them were. Cannabis saw being singled out as a perceived Gary had been on Maine’s transplant list for a kidney since 2003 and in 2010 the hospital changed it’s policy on cannabis. Maine legalized medical cannabis in 1999 and 11 years latter, they suddenly change their policy?

Garry was faced with an impossible choice. Stop using medical cannabis. Then wait a year to get on the bottom list again and wait an unknown amount of time hoping for a kidney. OR Continue to use medical cannabis and be taken off the list and fight to change the law. He choose the latter. Why? Pharmaceuticals had not been able to treat his condition adequately. Cannabis let him be a father to his children; when pharmaceuticals had not been up to the job. What would you choose? I know what I would do. Yet, lab test could clear cannabis medication of any potential risk before using cannabis medicine if pending an organ transplant. Not only that, but 12 other states current already protect medical cannabis patients from being unduly discriminated against as organ transplant recipients based solely on cannabis use.

Garry just testified in Augusta Maine’s capitol on a LD 764 a bill that would give Maine patients those same protections if passed. The workshop vote will be on Thursday April 6, 2017.

However, while it is going to be good news for any new organ transplant patient to not have to go through what Garry had gone through at least in the state of Maine. For Garry he will need to go back on the bottom of the list that he had already been on for 7 years. His spot on that list is now forever lost. Gary has page on Facebook for those looking to learn more about him or inquire on how to help.

https://www.facebook.com/KidneyForGarryGodfrey/

If you are in a medical cannabis state and you don’t know if you can be discriminated against to recite an organ transplant. Find out and contact you Representatives if you don’t want discriminatory practices in your area.  No one should be denied an organ because of cannabis!

As always,

Spread Cannabis Knowledge!
FibroMan

Sources:
http://wgme.com/news/local/kidney-patient-taken-off-transplant-list-for-using-medical-marijuana

http://steephilllab.com/mycotoxins-molds-and-cannabis/

 

 

 

The VA is Anti-Medical Cannabis

The Veteran’s administration is part of the federal government and it is not surprising that they want to follow federal laws. There has been lots of talk over the last few years about if the VA could recommend cannabis in medically approved states, or if using cannabis would prevent veterans from getting medical care at the VA, or even if veterans would loose their benefits if they used cannabis.

As a veteran and a medical cannabis patient this is something that has concerned me for a while. The VA does not look at cannabis as medicine even when it is legally prescribed as such. Myself I could not keep using the VA for my medical care when they would not recognize my medicine. How could I have a real conversation with my doctor if we never talked about the medicine that was working  best for me instead of the pills they wanted to push on me. Note to mention the myriad of other issues the VA has.

However, I still keep tabs on how my fellow veterans are being treated at the VA. A buddy of mine went to his routine appointment and before they would refill his Ambien Rx (a sleeping medication), he was told he had to sign a form and initial the 18 bullet points. This authorized the VA to randomly drug test you even call you up for an unscheduled appointment to have a drug test (This was bullet point #4), and when you flip to the back it says on number 17: “I will  not use any medications or substances that are not sanctioned by the Veterans Administration (i.e, illegal substances, medical marijuana/THC, or Alcohol) while on controlled medication.”

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This form was given to a veteran in Maine a state that approved medical cannabis in 1999  and as of January legal for ALL adults 21 years or older have the freedom to use cannabis as they see fit. Unless you are a veteran; then your freedom and rights do not matter. There is a reason that veteran suicides are on average 22 a day on average, the VA gives us shitty care!

“Spread Cannabis Knowledge!”
FibroMan

 

 

Maine Question 1: Pros and Cons

 

img_7391Firstly, I would highly recommend that anyone that has any question about how the bill is worded to refer to the bill itself and for your convenience I list it first. http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/marijuanaleg.doc It is my opinion everyone should be fully informed when they go to vote.  So please read the bill yourself as well. .

Before I go into both the positive aspects and negative aspects of Maine’s question 1 bill. Let me briefly tell you who I am and what cannabis is to me.

I am a disabled Navy Veteran with fibromyalgia and after the VA system failed me with my pain not managed well and with developing suicidal inclinations my life change after I tried cannabis. Cannabis saved my life. My pain has never been better managed than with it has been with cannabis. I was also able to get rid of all my pharmaceutical medications as cannabis could treat me better than the three-page list of active meds the VA had me on.  I have now been a legal medical cannabis patient for three years and now I grow my own medicine over the last year. For more on how cannabis saved my life; this is my personal story.  https://fibroman.com/2016/02/27/cannabis-saved-my-life/

To go over both the positive and negative aspects of this bill I am going to reference the bill as linked above by page number and sections. I had intended on writing this article sooner, but life got away from me.

Cons

  1. Page 9. Section 2447: License Application and Issuance. There are a few parts of this that I don’t agree with starting with this line “operating a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club without state licensing authority and municipal approval.”
    1. My issue with this is municipal approval. This mean that any municipality can prohibit any or all of these types of cannabis establishments. Meaning if for example Lisbon decided they did not want any retail cannabis cultivation in their town limits they could enact this type of ordinance. Personally, I don’t feel this is something that a municipality should be able.
  2. Page 9. 2447: Section 1. Qualifications. Part C “A person who has had a license for a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club revoked may not be a licensee.” If you also look at the last line of the of the introduction of this section (2447) it reads “If an application is not approved by the municipality, the state licensing authority shall revoke the license.”
    1. This is what I have an issue with is that if you don’t get approved by your town for a license to open a retail cannabis business then you get your license revoked. Then as per part C you would not be able to get another license. Unless I read that wrong.
  1. Page 9. 2447 Section Qualification Part B. “A person who has been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense may not be a licensee. For purposes of this paragraph, “disqualifying drug offense” means a conviction for a violation of a state or federal controlled substance law that is a crime punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or more.  “Disqualifying drug offense” does not include an offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration or supervised release, was completed 10 or more years prior to application for licensure or an offense that consisted of conduct that is permitted under this chapter.”
    1. Basically, if previously you have been convicted of growing cannabis, for example, you will not be allowed to legally sell cannabis now that it is legal to sell cannabis. To me, that make no sense at all.
  2. Page 11. 2447 Section 3 Part C-3. “The number of retail marijuana establishments or retail marijuana social clubs allowed in the municipality has been limited pursuant to local ordinance or is limited by subsection 7 and the state licensing authority has already licensed the maximum number of retail marijuana establishments or retail marijuana social clubs allowed in the municipality for the class of license that is sought.”
    1. This is more of the same with municipality having too much control over the retail cannabis market and is also re-emphasized on page 12 (2447.Section 4)
  3. Page 12. Part 5-B. “Placing or modifying a limit on the amount of production permitted by a retail marijuana cultivation facility license or class of licenses based upon some reasonable metric or set of metrics, including, but not limited to, previous months’ sales, pending sales or other reasonable metric as determined by the state licensing authority.”
    1. This is seriously over micromanaging.
  4. Page 12. section 2447. Part 6. “Limitation on retail marijuana cultivation facility size.  The amount of space approved for marijuana cultivation at retail marijuana cultivation facilities is limited to 800,000 square feet of plant canopy, unless the state licensing authority determines that a greater amount may be needed to ensure an adequate supply to meet demand for various strains of marijuana throughout the State.  An applicant must designate on the applicant’s operating plan the size category of the licensed premises and the amount of actual square footage in the applicant’s licensed premises that will be designated as plant canopy.The state licensing authority shall license 2 types of retail marijuana cultivation facilities, those with 3,000 square feet or less of plant canopy and those with more than 3,000 square feet of plant canopy.  The state licensing authority shall license marijuana cultivation at retail marijuana cultivation facilities by unit blocks of 10 feet by 10 feet, or 100 square feet, of plant canopy”
    1. This is kind funky. To regulate by canopy size if strange to me. I understand that they want to regulate it, but why by canopy size? Why not plant count? Mind you this is for retail growing and not personal use or medical use. I know some of the arguments against this is that cannabis is safe and does not need this kind of regulations. While I personally agree with that current state law prohibit all growing for retail sales. This part of the bill I feel will eventually change as the need for more cannabis arises.
  1. Page 20. Section 2448 Part 11. “License terms. All licenses under this chapter are effective for one year from the date of issuance.”
    1. If every year these businesses need to renew the license I would worry about bureaucracy slowing down renewals. Although in subsection D has the provision to allow the licensing authority to extend the expiration date. This could mean that the one-year license could change but it could also stay the same.
  2. Page 26. Section 2453 Part 1. Unlawful acts subsection B, “Buy, sell, transfer, give away or acquire retail marijuana or retail marijuana products.”
    1. This part is slightly more confusing than it appears. Let me explain. As part of this bill you may give away up to 2.5 oz of cannabis to someone else as long as you don’t get money for it. You may also give away plant to people as well. But if you buy an infused product you can’t give it away?

Pros

  1. Page 6. Section 2444 Part 2. “Adoption of rules. The state licensing authority shall adopt rules for the proper regulation and control of the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale and testing of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products and for the enforcement of this chapter, not later than 9 months after the effective date of this Act,”
    1. What I like about this is that if it passes then no later than 9 months after voted in there should be recreation cannabis on the market for purchase.
  2. Page 7. Section 2445 Independent testing and certification program”
    1. I like that the recreational cannabis grower cannot also be a lab. This ensures no conflict of interest in altering lab results.
  3. Page 9. Section 2447 Part 1-F. “First priority for licensure must be given to registered caregivers who have been continuously registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act or who have experience serving as a principal officer or board member of a nonprofit medical dispensary registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.  If an applicant, either a business entity or an individual, owns, has a financial interest in or controls the management of more than one dispensary in this State, that applicant may receive preference for only one license in each license class.”
    1. The people currently legally growing cannabis for medical use are going to be give priority in issuing licenses to grow recreational cannabis. This is definitely a positive part of this bill.
  4. Page 10-11. Section 2447 Part 3-B. “. An applicant may apply for and be granted more than one type of license except that a person licensed as a retail marijuana testing facility may not hold any other retail marijuana establishment license.  Registered caregivers and registered dispensaries who have held a registration in good standing for 2 years by the date of the application must be given priority in the granting of licenses for a retail marijuana cultivation facility, retail marijuana products manufacturing facility or retail marijuana store license.”
    1. This has two good part in my opinion. It restates that labs won’t be growers as well and it also restates about caregivers and currently dispensaries being given priority in issuing licenses for operating in the recreational side.
  5. Page 12. Section 2447 Part 4. “The state licensing authority may not limit the total number of retail marijuana stores in this State.”
    1. This means that the licensing authority for the state cannot limit the number of stores in the state. Although as mentioned in the cons; municipalities will be able to limit within their jurisdiction.
  6. Page 12. Section 2447 Part 6. “…with 40% of all licenses issued going to licensees of 30 unit blocks or less.”
    1. I understand this part is controversial. As some are worried that big marijuana is going to come take over. However, I see this as a minimum number. Meaning that it is a protection to make sure that small grow operates as well as big operations to prevent that complete takeover. I do understand larger grow operations do tend to have less specially and less quality as it is mass produced. I won’t argue that smaller operations will provide a higher quality and more specialized produce. However, some people are going to want cheap cannabis that is not specialized and does not care as much about quality. There are people that like cheap box wine and others that like fine aged French wine. There is room for cannabis between all spectrums of quality and specializations.
  7. Page 14. Section 2448 part 3-C. “A person must be 21 years of age or older to make a purchase in a retail marijuana store.”
    1. While I understand, cannabis is a safe herb that will not harm children and has proven medical benefits for many children a bill without the measure of restricting age of people to use cannabis recreationally is unlikely to get support from people outside the cannabis community. This is also only a restriction on retail stores and not medical dispensaries. If this bill pass I would recommend trying to get this part amended to allow any minor with a valid medical card to make purchases in a retail store as well because retail stores are going to end up with more choices.
  8. Page 23. Section 2449 Part 1 Local licensing. “….Nothing in this chapter prohibits the registered voters of a municipality from calling for a vote on any regulations adopted by a municipal legislative body.”
    1. Now it has been established now my opinion on the municipalities having control over if a retail cannabis store can open. What I like here is that if a town does prohibit retail cannabis the voter can overturn the municipality decision.
  9. Page 23. Section 2449 Part 3. Notice and portion of fee must be given to municipality.“50% of the licensing fee to the municipality in which the establishment or club is to be located.
    1. Even though I don’t think a municipality should have the jurisdiction to tell someone that they can or cannot open a legal cannabis business; I do like that the town and cities will get some of the money from the recreational cannabis market. This could improve road and schools along with many other things.
  10. Page 25. Section 2452 Personal use of Marijuana. Parts 1-2. “Person 21 years of age or older. A person 21 years of age or older may:
    1. Use, possess or transport marijuana accessories and up to 2 1/2 ounces of prepared marijuana;
    2. Transfer or furnish, without remuneration, up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana and up to 6 immature plants or seedlings to a person who is 21 years of age or older;
    3. Possess, grow, cultivate, process or transport up to 6 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings, and possess all the marijuana produced by the plants at the adult’s residence;
    4. Purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of retail marijuana and marijuana accessories from a retail marijuana store; and
    5. Purchase up to 12 seedlings or immature plants from a retail marijuana cultivation facility.
    6. Home cultivation. The following provisions apply to the home cultivation of marijuana for personal use by a person who is 21 years of age or older.
    7. A person may cultivate up to 6 flowering marijuana plants at that person’s place of residence, on property owned by that person or on another person’s property with written permission of the owner of the property.
    8. A person who elects to cultivate marijuana shall ensure the marijuana is not visible from a public way without the use of binoculars, aircraft or other optical aids and shall take reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access by a person under 21 years of age.”
      1. This I like and because it allows any adult over 21 to be able to grow their own cannabis. So, if you are worried about cannabis being taken over or want to make sure you have a special strain you are legally allowed to grow it yourself. This makes sure everyone in the state of Maine will be able to grow their own cannabis. Current laws only allow medical users like myself to grow cannabis. I not a huge fan of the restriction of not visible as I feel that is unreasonable but this is something that could be fought after you obtain the legal right to grow in the first place.

 

  1. Page 27. Section 2454. Construction. Part 1. “Relation to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. This chapter may not be construed to limit any privileges or rights of a qualifying patient, primary caregiver, registered or otherwise, or registered dispensary under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.”
    1. This is the most important aspect of this entire bill to anyone who currently is a medical cannabis card holder. Or anyone that in the future that wants to apply for a medical card. They will still be protected by the medical use act. This will allow minors with qualifying medical conditions to still have access to medical quality cannabis. As currently written it is making sure both the medical side and recreational adult use of cannabis remain separate. This is how it should be and how I hope it will remain. I know there is a fear that the two programs may merge, but this is not written into the bill and if it is attempted I am sure there will be enough resistance to keep them separated. While having legal recreational cannabis ensures anyone that want to use cannabis to treat any medical condition that cannabis can help will have access regardless if the condition is on the approved list or not.
  2. Page 27. Section 2454. Part 3. “School, employer or landlord may not discriminate. A school, employer or landlord may not refuse to enroll or employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person 21 years of age or older solely for that person’s consuming marijuana outside of the school’s, employer’s or landlord’s property.
    1. This is a very important part of this bill. This makes sure that adults have the right to use cannabis and not be punished by their school, employer or landlord if off the property of those entities.
  3. Page 28. Section 2454. Part 4. “Person may not be denied parental rights and responsibilities or contact with a minor child. A person may not be denied parental rights and responsibilities with respect to or contact with a minor child as a result of acting in accordance with this chapter, unless the person’s conduct is contrary to the best interest of the minor child as set out in Title 19‑A, section 1653, subsection 3.”
    1. This is also a provision in this bill that will expand people rights as currently cannabis can be used against you to take away your children.
  4. Page 28. Section 1817. Part 2. “Sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. The sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products is 10% and is the only tax charged on the sale of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products at the point of final sale at a retail marijuana store or retail marijuana social club.
    1. I am okay with that taxation of cannabis for retail sales. The tax revenue of the sale of cannabis is an argument that has been used to persuade the non-cannabis user to vote for cannabis legislations. What I would not agree with is the over taxation of cannabis that would cause it to become too expensive to purchase. A 10% Tax is reasonable in my opinion.

 

There may be some other pro and cons in this bill I missed. Maybe some of my pros are on your con list or vice a versea. What is important is that you are informed about the choice you are going to make when you cast your vote. This bill is not perfect, but neither was the medical bill when it first came out. That took work by a lot of people for many years before I was even aware cannabis was medicine. So, I don’t think the perfect bill will come along. There is always going to be something that people don’t like in a bill because you cannot please everyone. This bill seems to prevent the complete takeover by ensuring that at least 40% of all retail grows will be small grows to keep a lot of small business in Maine.

In my opinion, if you currently use cannabis or want to; you should vote Yes on question 1. This will give you the legal right to grow cannabis yourself and keep all of what you grow only limited by state grow limits. This will allow anyone worried about coming out of the cannabis closet legal protections on the state level. Still, does not change the laws the federal government has, but no state bill has that power. If this bill passes it will also let anyone use cannabis medically that is currently unable to. Even though Maine has one of the best medical programs in the country our list of approved medical conditions is not fully comprehensive to the number of medical conditions that can be treated by cannabis. Question 1 gives every Mainer that right to use a natural medical-legally and this bill will protect the current medical program. I know there is a fear that one day the two programs may merge and it might be tried like happen in Washington State. I feel that since this bill does not mention or even hint at this along with having the protection of the medical program in the bill that if a merge were attempted it would be fought.

Other things that are likely to happen if question 1 passes in Maine. We will most likely see more cannabis refugees, cannabis tourism, and cannabis medical tourist. More people will come to Maine other will likely move to Maine. These things could all help our economy, create jobs, and could help shift the tide of the states mean age range. As Maine’s youth tend to move away looking for jobs and better economy. States that legalize adult use of cannabis also get to have more cannabis festivals and cannabis cups hosted in their state.

With more states legalizing adult use of cannabis this makes it possible for the medical patient to also travel more freely than they currently legally can. As right now not every medical cannabis state recognizes out of state medical cards. Where a state that allows all adults to use cannabis has no restrictions on if a medical user can use cannabis or not. One day I would like to be able to travel with my own medications and not need to worry about state borders, but that is not the environment we live in.

My recommendation is that if you are still unsure if you want this bill to pass or not is to read the bill as linked to at the top of this article and go over all the facts. Based your vote on an informed decision while leaving out any what ifs. When you look at all the cons of the bill you must ask do they make you want to say no? Do the cons out weight the pros? This is a choice each person voting must make for themselves. I would also recommend looking at the opinions of both the yes and no sides as well. Find out their concerns and determine if they are your concerns as well, but in the end, make the choice for yourself.

FibroMan
Spread Cannabis Knowledge!