Month: April 2017

Maine Medical Marijuana Caregivers And Patients Are Feeling Attacked By Lobbying Efforts

Posted on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 by CCM

Maine’s Medical Marijuana Industry Is Being Threatened By Special Interest Groups

The common theme in Augusta today in regards to the future of the Maine Medical Marijuana program is that “big business” is lobbying to do away with the Medical Marijuana Caregiver program (There are also rumors that the dispensaries are undermining Caregivers by submitting lists to DHHS for inspection). They are not coming out right and saying this, but its obvious in the bills they are trying to pass. The history and evidence of how this happened in other states is unequivocal. Mainers can see the writing on the wall and are fighting daily for their beloved program.

Helping to lead the charge in the effort to stop negative influence on the program is Dawson Julia of East Coast CBD. Dawson has helped countless patients throughout the State, and his company ECCBD is MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) Clean Cannabis Certified. Included here is a quote and a link to a form where you can help keep Maine Cannabis in the hands of the people. Dawson says, “Simply put this is money power trying to overpower people power!  Wrong on all levels and Maine will not stand by silently and watch as they destroy our medical marijuana program one bill at a time.  These $ addicts need to find the road to recovery. Please consider doing your part and sign up today to help us fight the FAT CATS from out of town”.

By and large Caregivers want to play nice, but they feel attacked. Caregivers have not introduced one bill against the dispensaries, while dispensaries are constantly introducing bills that will effect the care giving community negatively.  The care giving community is currently defending itself against more bills than it can handle.  And lets look at this objectively. By estimated numbers, caregivers have about 25% more medical patients than dispensaries in Maine. Now, if we were to look at the number of complaints submitted, they complaints against the dispensaries far outnumber those against caregivers. What does that tell us? And if these caregivers don’t service the medical patients in Maine, who will? There will be no Medical Marijuana program at all is what would happen. Everyone would have to rely on overpriced retail outlets. Thats simply not fair and unacceptable.

The future intentions of the dispensaries are clear, and its not in medical. There is documentation of them changing non profit status to for profit and want early access into the recreational market. There is nothing medical about them, and they obviously see the 3,000 + caregivers (small business who contribute back to the local economy) as threats to their bottom line. Lets face it, Mainers don’t buy “recreational” cannabis, we grow it. The overriding consensus in Maine is the highest quality cannabis is grown by caregivers.  The way we at Compassionate Caregivers of Maine feel is go ahead, do your thing in recreational cannabis. Just leave the Maine Medical Marijuana program, its patients & caregivers alone please.

Lets look at a published timeline (in order) of the dispensary experience with Medical Marijuana:

 

Berkeley Patients Group owes $6.4 million in back taxes

Their DHHS Request for Applications – Medical Marijuana Program Application

Berkeley cannabis lawsuit reveals bitter infighting

Full text of “Lawsuit- Berkeley Patients Group against Rebecca DeKeuster July 6

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Caught Using Pesticide; Has Some Calling For Caregiver Model

Consent Agreement concerning the Certificate of Registration for 4 Dispensaries

2013 Advice Memorandum

Cases & Decisions 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Inspection Details

Wellness Connection of Maine recalls two strains of medical marijuana

 

An alarming note to take away from the above documents is the “Advice Memorandum” for The Wellness Connection came out 6 months after the pesticide debacle.  In this document its stated, “Any mold or seeds are also removed. The buds are weighed, packaged, and labeled, and the packaged product is entered into inventory to be sent to the Employer’s dispensaries, where it is sold to customers.”  Does this not show that when they were forced to not use pesticides they simply instead sold mold? Now, we aren’t saying all caregivers are perfect by any means. But if you are going to open up as a medical marijuana dispensary, I think you should at least learn to police your own product. This is why there are overwhelmingly less complaints filed against caregivers. We do a good job of policing ourselves and push each other through quality control, knowledge sharing, innovation and customer care.

If you would like to help in the advocacy of Maine Medical Marijuana, please fill out this form:

http://bit.ly/2oMK4Cx

If you are an avid Facebook user and want to get involved, join the group “Maine Cannabis Coalition”. Here you can find up to date information on the program and what activists are doing to protect and improve the Maine Medical Marijuana program. There is also a link to “Files” in the upper left hand side. There you can find forms for patient quality satisfaction, legislative information and packets to help educate the community and the state government officials.

Maine Cannabis Coalition