Maine's Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Being Called a Step Back
State health officials have proposed a new set of rules governing Maine's medical marijuana program that aren't going over well among medical marijuana caregivers.
A key change would make a state identification system designed to keep track of patients who are enrolled in the program optional.
The proposed new guidelines would also prevent police from seizing marijuana belonging to a patient, caregiver or dispensary unless the amount of the drug is over the legal limit for those groups or the seizure is linked to an ongoing criminal investigation.
Members of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers Association of Maine are concerned about many of the other proposed new rules, including one that would require a privacy fence at least 8 feet high around any outdoor marijuana cultivation site. "In order to get any sunlight in it you would need at least a 30x30 area which would be completely cost prohibitive for most people," said Paul McCarrier, of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers Association of Maine.
Another proposed rule would require motion activated lighting which McCarrier says will interrupt the flowering cycle. If the proposal passes, DHHS would also have the authority to add any sort of additional security measures that they deem fit, without having a public hearing. "We had a great working relationship with the governor's office, with the legislature, with the department," McCarrier said. "These rules are really a step back away from that by really not allowing patients to be able to cultivate within a reasonable enclosed, locked facility. We're hoping to work with both the administration and DHHS in getting a more reasonable definition of these rules figured out."
The proposed new rules would be the first update since Maine voters legalized marijuana for specific medical reasons in 2009.
- Read the entire article at WABI TV5.