Archive for December, 2011

Firefighters identify man killed in fire at North Portland house that included …

December 31st, 2011

NPDXFire1.JPGView full sizeThe fire at this North Portland home Friday evening killed a 41-year-old man.The man killed in a fire Friday night in a North Portland home that included a marijuana growing operation was Jason Ross Brown, 41, Portland fire investigators said this evening.

Brown was a valid medical marijuana card holder but the growing operation in the two-story house at 6219 N. Concord Ave was in excess of what he was allowed to legally grow and possess, Portland Fire Rescue investigators said. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the fire.

The fire appears to have started in the basement, but investigators have yet to determine if it was related to the growing operation. They estimate damage to the home at $225,000.

A neighbor told The Oregonian Friday that Ross was a renter who said he grew medical marijuana for cancer patients.

— Scott Learn

 

Article source: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/12/firefighters_identify_man_kill.html

Portland Medical Marijuana Dispensary not Offering Vapor Lounge

December 30th, 2011

The operators of a medical marijuana dispensary that’s about to open in Portland say the site will not feature a “vapor lounge.”

That’s an area where patients can inhale marijuana while avoiding the irritating and potentially cancerous effects of smoking.

The facility’s operator, Wellness Connection of Maine initially planned to feature such a lounge.

After state officials raised concerns, Wellness of Maine changed its plans.

Article source: http://www.wabi.tv/news/26412/portland-medical-marijuana-dispensary-not-offering-vapor-lounge

Portland medical marijuana dispensary drops plans for ‘vapor lounge’ after …

December 30th, 2011

PORTLAND, Maine — The operators of a medical marijuana dispensary scheduled to open in Portland say they will not have a “vapor lounge” at the site after state officials raised concerns.

A “vapor lounge” is an area where patients can inhale the medicinal compounds while avoiding the irritating and carcinogenic effects of smoking.

Wellness Connection of Maine said on its website this month that it planned to include the lounge at its facility expected to open in February.

John Thiele, program manager for the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, said those plans ran afoul of state regulations and he was concerned the dispensary would become a hangout.

John Thiele, program manager for the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, said those plans ran afoul of state regulations and he was concerned the dispensary would become a hangout.

Rebecca DeKeuster of Wellness Connection tells The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/sH7ef5) that after talking to state officials, the company has amended its plans.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com



Article source: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/73591edb0c31400bad3d1a05387bbea5/ME--Medical-Marijuana/

Here’s your Prilosec, dude

December 29th, 2011

If you were designing a facility to dispense a substance that has recently been legalized for medical use in your state, how would you do it?  The legalization of this substance is a highly controversial, fraught issue, and much of the opposition to its legalization for medical use revolves around questions of how legitimately it can be used as medicine in the first place, and attendant concerns that so-called “medical use” is just a ruse to cover for recreational consumption.  Indeed, though the substance has been legalized in your state, it is still illegal from a federal perspective.  With all that in mind, what kind of space would you create for distributing this tenuously-legal substance?

I think this is the wrong approach:

A medical marijuana dispensary that’s scheduled to open in Portland next month is designed as a California-style wellness center. Its operator is promoting a free coffee and tea bar, acupuncture clinics, support groups, counseling and a “welcoming vapor lounge.”

The new website of Wellness Connection of Maine says, “Patients are always welcome to relax and socialize near our fireplace, or enjoy a free cup of tea with a friend in our cafe space.”

Before I continue, let me state my opinion on marijuana legalization  — I think marijuana should be completely legal for recreational use.  I can honestly think of no good reason for it to be otherwise.  While I think the War on Drugs in general has been a miserable failure, I can at least grok why trying to keep

Article source: http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/russellsaunders/2011/12/29/heres-your-prilosec-dude/

Opening near for pot clinic

December 29th, 2011

Dispensary will see patients full time starting next month

BY MICHAEL SHEPHERD, Staff Writer

 

HALLOWELL — A city medical marijuana dispensary started seeing patients by appointment before Christmas and plans to open full time next month.

 

Wellness Connection of Maine’s 2,400-square-foot dispensary, one floor above the Liberal Cup on Water Street, is scheduled to open by January’s end, according to the firm’s executive director, Becky DeKeuster.

Under state law, the dispensary will be the only one allowed in Kennebec County.

Earlier this year, DeKeuster had hoped the dispensary would be open by the fall. Renovations have held up the Hallowell dispensary’s opening, according to Jane Lane, senior vice president with Philip W. Johnston Associates, a Boston-based public affairs firm working with Wellness Connection.

“Becky loves her contractors,” Lane said. “But the fact is, we have to wait until the renovations are complete.”

DeKeuster said Wednesday that renovations are “pretty well finished,” with a few finishing touches remaining.

“It’s a very beautiful and serviceable location,” DeKeuster said.

The location has a parking area off Dummers Lane, with a winding handicapped-accessible ramp leading to a unmarked door with a keypad lock and a security camera overhead. Inside is a tidy, mostly empty space, with orange walls and a hardwood floor.

DeKeuster said she didn’t have an estimate of the number of patients who have already been seen. To receive medical marijuana, patients must have one of many state-approved qualifying conditions and get a recommendation from a doctor.

In 2010, Northeast Patients Group, a nonprofit organization that changed its name to Wellness Connection

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/opening-near-for-pot-clinic_2011-12-28.html

State concerned about Portland marijuana facility

December 28th, 2011

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A state health official says plans by the operators of a medical marijuana dispensary scheduled to open in Portland next month to include a coffee bar, acupuncture clinic and “vapor lounge” at the facility run afoul of state rules.

John Thiele of the Health and Human Services Department says a dispensary with such amenities would violate state regulations aimed at ensuring that dispensaries are places to get medicine for serious illnesses, not places to “hang out.”

He tells The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/vfodRR) creating a social setting for the dispensation of medical marijuana is unhealthy because it promotes more marijuana use than is medically necessary.

The operator, Wellness Connection of Maine, could not be reached for comment. Their two other dispensaries in Maine do not have the same amenities.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/state/2011/12/28/state-concerned-about-portland-marijuana-facility/1133404

Maine cannabis dispensary under fire

December 28th, 2011

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A state health official said plans by the operators of a medical marijuana dispensary scheduled to open in Portland next month to include a coffee bar, acupuncture clinic and “vapor lounge” at the facility run afoul of state rules.

John Thiele of the Health and Human Services Department said a dispensary with such amenities would violate state regulations aimed at ensuring that dispensaries are places to get medicine for serious illnesses, not places to “hang out.” He told the Portland Press Herald creating a social setting for the dispensation of medical marijuana is unhealthy because it promotes more marijuana use than is medically necessary.

The operator, Wellness Connection of Maine, could not be reached for comment. Their two other dispensaries in Maine do not have the same amenities.

Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111228/BIZ/112280337/-1/NEWSMAP

DHHS decries California-style pot dispensary

December 27th, 2011

PORTLAND — A medical marijuana dispensary that’s scheduled to open in Portland next month is designed as a California-style wellness center.

 

Its operator is promoting a free coffee and tea bar, acupuncture clinics, support groups, counseling and a “welcoming vapor lounge.”

The new website of Wellness Connection of Maine says, “Patients are always welcome to relax and socialize near our fireplace, or enjoy a free cup of tea with a friend in our cafe space.”

The manager of Maine’s medical marijuana program says a dispensary with such amenities would violate state regulations aimed at ensuring that dispensaries are places to get medicine for serious illnesses, not places to socialize.

Creating a social setting for the dispensation of medical marijuana is unhealthy because it promotes more marijuana use than is medically necessary and puts users and the public at risk if customers drive home under the influence, said John Thiele of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.

In California, which also allows marijuana to be distributed for medical purposes, many dispensaries have become popular hangouts, he said, and that’s one reason why California has run into problems with the federal government, which considers all marijuana use illegal.

“We don’t want that to occur here,” Thiele said. “You don’t encourage people to hang out in the local pharmacy.”

Wellness Connection of Maine, formerly Northeast Patients Group, is leasing a roughly 6,000-square-foot space at 685 Congress St., behind the Local 188 restaurant. The nonprofit group plans to open its dispensary late next month. City officials say they expect to

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/dhhs-decries-california-style-pot-dispensary_2011-12-26.html

Marijuana dispensary will also feature social amenities

December 25th, 2011

PORTLAND – A medical marijuana dispensary that’s scheduled to open in Portland next month is designed as a California-style wellness center. Its operator is promoting a free coffee and tea bar, acupuncture clinics, support groups, counseling and a “welcoming vapor lounge.”

The medical marijuana dispensary that is scheduled to open next month behind the Local 188 restaurant at 685 Congress St. in Portland is promoting a wellness center approach with free coffee and tea, acupuncture, support and a “welcoming vapor lounge.”

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

 

The new website of Wellness Connection of Maine says, “Patients are always welcome to relax and socialize near our fireplace, or enjoy a free cup of tea with a friend in our cafe space.”

The manager of Maine’s medical marijuana program says a dispensary with such amenities would violate state regulations aimed at ensuring that dispensaries are places to get medicine for serious illnesses, not places to socialize.

Creating a social setting for the dispensation of medical marijuana is unhealthy because it promotes more marijuana use than is medically necessary and puts users and the public at risk if customers drive home under the influence, said John Thiele of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.

In California, which also allows marijuana to be distributed for medical purposes, many dispensaries have become popular hangouts, he said, and that’s one reason California has run into problems with the federal government, which considers all marijuana use illegal.

“We don’t want that to occur here,”

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/news/social-amenities-dispensed-with-marijuana_2011-12-25.html

Medical marijuana and federal laws

December 23rd, 2011

pot.JPG

Protecting their community
Your Dec. 19 editorial “Push back on medical pot,” in which you deny possible risk of federal prosecution and describe the citizens of Upper Freehold as uncompassionate, is inaccurate and misguided.

California is not the only medical marijuana state where there are federal prosecutions; Michigan, Oregon, Washington and Montana have similar actions. U.S. attorneys in Hawaii, Arizona, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island have issued warning letters referencing the 2009 Ogden memo, which clearly states the federal government will enforce the Controlled Substances Act “rigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

News out of Colorado, a state regulated like New Jersey, indicates that letters were sent to dispensaries warning them that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Translation: States, including New Jersey, cannot authorize violation of federal law.

In states that register and track marijuana users and their conditions, combined statistics indicate very few are treating serious conditions such as cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS. To suggest the vote denies relief to those on “death’s doorstep” is shameful. In reality, Upper Freehold is protecting its community from federal raids and large-scale marijuana operations.
David G. Evans, Drug Free Schools Coalition

Sex abuse statutes
I applaud your Dec. 18 editorial calling for elimination of the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases (“Eliminate time limits

Article source: http://blog.nj.com/ledgerletters/2011/12/medical_marijuana_and_federal.html