Maine legislature on MMJ

Wellness Connection of Maine

Join the conversation : Upcoming legislative hearings about Medical Marijuana

May 6, 2013MarketingEvent

Maine’s 126th Legislative session is in full swing until the end of May and this session there are SIX bills having to do with medical marijuana that could have serious and far-reaching effects for qualified patients in Maine.

These six bills are scheduled for a public hearing in front of the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday May 14, 2013 at 1 p.m. This committee meets in the Cross Building in Augusta, which is the building behind the Capitol.

NOW is the time for you to voice your opinion. The HHS Committee considers public comments seriously when they are deciding whether or not to pass a bill on to the Legislature for a vote. They need to hear from patients who are currently benefiting from the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act—they need to hear from YOU!

Three ways to make your voice heard:
1. Attend the hearing on Tuesday May 14 and share your comments. Each speaker is given 2 minutes. Prepare your comments ahead of time, but speak from the heart! The hearing starts at 1 p.m. and is likely to go on for most of the day
2. If you cannot attend, you can still submit written comments to the Committee. Address your written comments as follows: “Dear Senator Craven and members of the Committee, …” And send them to: Committee on Health and Human Services, c/o Legislative Information 100 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
3. If one of the committee members is a legislator from your district, write directly to them to share your views.

You can listen to the public hearing by following this link: http://www.maine.gov/legis/audio/health_cmte.html

Please find below an overview of the six bills:

NUMBER/TITLE

SUMMARY

SPONSORS & NOTES

LD 480, An Act to Establish Fees Under the ME Medical Use of Marijuana Act

Adjusts fees and range of fees for caregivers and dispensary operators; fees lowered if those paid in prior fiscal year exceeded program costs

Rep Sanderson (Chelsea) Sen Hamper (Oxford)
Rep Farnsworth (Portland)
Rep Gattine (Westbrook)
Rep Harvell (Farmington)

Rep Malaby (Hancock)
Rep Peterson (Rumford)
Rep Sirocki (Scarborough)
Rep Wilson (Augusta)
Sen Plummer (Cumberland)

LD 1062, An Act to Add Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use

Adds PTSD, addiction treatment, and any other condition a physician deems worthy to list of conditions for which cannabis can be recommended

Rep Dickerson (Rockland)
Sen Gerzofsky (Cumberland)
Rep Dion (Portland)
Rep Mastraccio (Sanford)
Rep Russell (Portland)
Rep Villa (Harrison)

LD 1161, An Act to Ensure Regulated Safe Access to Medical Marijuana

Increases number of dispensaries in “previously undeserved areas of the state”

Sen Gerzofsky (Cumberland)

LD 1404, An Act to Ensure the Integrity of Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program

Allows caregivers to have unlimited patients and to hire employees.

Rep Gilbert (Jay)
Sen Lachowicz (Kennebec)
Rep Black (Wilton)
Rep Cassidy (Lubec)
Rep Chipman (Portland)
Rep Dion (Portland)
Rep Harvell (Farmington)
Rep Kruger (Thomaston)
Rep Sanderson (Chelsea)
Sen Whittemore (Somerset)

Bill allows caregivers to rise to the level of a dispensary, without any of the strict regulatory oversight or fees that dispensaries must comply with.

LD 1423, An Act to Amend the Medical Marijuana Law Regarding Excess Harvested Marijuana

Allows patients and caregivers to sell excess medicine to one another or to dispensaries; removes all penalties for excess marijuana

Rep Hickman (Winthrop)
Rep Dion (Portland)
Sen Gerzofsky (Cumberland)
Would provide more variety for dispensary patients; unclear how quality testing would be done on caregivers or patient-grown medicine

LD 1462, An Act to Clarify and Correct Provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act

Removes requirement that plants be tagged with a patient’s name; changes requirement for dispensary notification to DLRS of “substantive” policy changes to within 30 days of the change rather than 10 days prior to implementation

Rep Dion (Portland)
Sen Haskell (Cumberland)
Rep Fansworth (Portland)
Rep Gilbert (Jay)
Rep Harvell (Farmington)
Rep Hayes (Buckfield)
Rep Moonen (Portland)
Rep Sanderson (Chelsea)
Sen Langley (Hancock)
Sen Valentino (York)

This bill will fix some provisions in the new rules that created a confidentiality problem for patients, and that make normal business operations more difficult for dispensaries.

 

 

 

 

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