Archive for March, 2012

Portland pot dispensary opens quietly

March 29th, 2012

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Posted: 7:39 AM
Updated: 10:20 AM

Portland pot dispensary opens quietly

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — The city’s first medical marijuana dispensary, in a nondescript brick building at the end of an alley off Congress Street, opened for business Wednesday.

Wellness Connection of Maine’s new marijuana dispensary in Portland is in a nondescript brick building at the end of an alley off Congress Street, behind the Local 188 restaurant.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Dipensary Director Diane Schinella and Executive Director Rebecca DeKeuster of the Wellness Connection of Maine in Portland on Wednesday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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The dispensary, behind the Local 188 restaurant, is a well-lit, modern facility with bright green walls, light wood floors, a coffee and tea bar — behind a counter that will soon hold marijuana pipes and rolling papers – a “community area” for patients, and rooms for acupuncture and reiki treatments.

Plans to mount birch tree halves to a wall, similar to a decoration in Wellness Connection of Maine’s dispensary in Hallowell, ran afoul of Portland’s fire code and had to be abandoned, but a white outline of trees is painted on one wall, awaiting the artist’s finishing touches.

Rebecca DeKeuster, executive director of the nonprofit company that runs the dispensary, said the

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Waterboro man charged with growing marijuana

March 18th, 2012



WATERBORO – A Waterboro man was arrested last week and charged with marijuana cultivation.

John F. Pond, 27, was arrested March 14 by York County Sheriff’s Office deputies, after Deputy Shawn Sanborn received information that a residence in the Lake Arrowhead community smelled heavily of marijuana. Sanborn, who works exclusively in Waterboro, went to the residence to conduct an investigation, according to a department press release.  

Upon his arrival, Sanborn also detected the smell of unsmoked marijuana and also observed evidence in the yard indicative of somebody growing marijuana (jugs, pails, etc.). A search warrant was then written for the residence.

Upon executing the search warrant, Sanborn and other deputies found approximately 80 marijuana plants and approximately 2 lbs. of processed marijuana. The marijuana had a street value of approximately $60,000.  Pond is not a licensed medical provider. 

Pond, who has a previous conviction for criminal marijuana possession in New Hampshire, is being held at the York County Jail with a bail of $1,000 cash. Cultivation is a class C felony.

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Maine’s ‘higher standards’ discourage professionals

March 9th, 2012

1:00 AM

Maine’s ‘higher standards’ discourage professionals

I am an out-of-stater looking to move back to Maine, where my wife is from, to start our family. It really is a beautiful state, and I like it. Maine, however, is not very business friendly, and I have encountered setback after setback.

I am a licensed counselor in another state, certified at the national level in private practice.

Maine has different standards from the rest of the country.

These national standards have been developed specifically for professionals so they can move from state to state.

I met with the licensing body in Gardiner, and I was told that Maine has “higher standards than other states.”

I guess that is right. I can move to Maine to grow medical marijuana, but I cannot practice the profession that I am eligible to in nearly every other state.

To me, this says a lot. It is no wonder young professional people flock out of Maine with its “higher standards.”

I am now reconsidering moving to Maine as a result of this situation. Truth be told, the economy is much better in my home state, and I do not have to worry about nonsensical, outdated business regulations.

The message Maine is sending is crystal clear: Educated professionals stay out.

Brad Croyle

Johnstown, Pa.

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Medical marijuana caregivers starting seedlings now for first outdoor season

March 4th, 2012

STOCKTON SPRINGS, Maine — Medical marijuana caregivers — just like farmers who want healthful tomato plants — are now starting baby plants for the upcoming outdoor growing season in Maine now that the law regulating medicinal cannabis allows the practice.

The change is just one of several that went into effect under LD 1296, An Act to Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act To Protect Patient Privacy, which was signed on June 24, 2011, by Gov. Paul LePage and became law in the fall.

“Last season, you had to grow inside in an enclosed, locked facility and now enclosed, locked facility can mean a fenced area,” Paul McCarrier of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine said on Friday.

The outdoor fenced area must be equipped with a lock or other security device that permits access only by authorized personnel, the amended law states.

State Rep. Michael Celli of Brewer is one of nine co-sponsors of the amendment that was brought forth by State Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea.

“It’s an ongoing process to make sure it is not abused and is getting to the people who really need it,” Celli said on Sunday.

The local lawmaker said he has spoken to many qualified patients about the drug that Maine voters first approved as a medicinal drug in 1999.

“Some say it’s the only thing they have found that works for their conditions,” Celli said. “A few have said it didn’t work” and many “are desperate and are willing

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Lincolnville moves town office project forward, approves zoning drug clinics

March 1st, 2012

Lincolnville — Approximately 75 voters convened at the Lincolnville Central School Feb. 13 and, despite debate on a few measures, eventually approved a special town meeting warrant that included relegating methadone and marijuana clinics to a section of Route 1 to transferring money to begin a town office renovation project.

The warrant also included amending town ordinances governing home occupations to ease some of the restrictions on setting up a home-based business; entering into a multi-year lease with the Lincolnville Historical Society for the use of the town-owned former Dean Eugley property on Main Street; and authorizing the selectmen to sell 2.31 acres of tax-acquired land on South Cobbtown Road.

Limiting the siting of drug clinics to Route 1 is included in ordinance amendments that now govern where, and how, medical marijuana dispensaries and methadone clinics are established. The majority of voters approved the clinic amendments, with but three in opposition.

Such clinics will be allowed on Route 1 in a stretch south of the intersection of Beach Road (Route 173) and Route 1 to the Camden town line. Additionally, all signage and advertising for a medical marijuana dispensary is not to use the word “marijuana or cannabis, or any other word, phrase or symbol commonly understood to refer to marijuana unless such word, phrase or symbol is immediately preceded by the

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