First annual cannabis education day in Maine

February 1st, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

(NECN: Amy Sinclair, Maine) – It was the first annual cannabis education day in Maine on Wednesday.

Growers, dispensary operators and patients headed to the State Capitol in Augusta to tell lawmakers what’s working and what’s not.

Two years after Maine voters approved a medical marijuana initiative, six discreet-looking dispensaries, including the Wellness Connection in Hallowell, are providing medical marijuana to more than 2400 patients.

Having access to the plant has made a world of difference to injured Iraq war veteran Ryan Begin.

“I’ve had over 35 surgeries on my elbow and been on every pill you can imagine,” said Begin.

He said marijuana has helped the most and, according to the medical marijuana caregivers gathered at the state Capitol, the fledging program has also helped the state’s economy.

“Our message is really thank you for passing lD 1296,” said Paul McCarrier with medical marijuana caregivers of Maine, “because of that they’ve created 770 jobs in this state.”

The law has already been amended once. Medical marijuana patients are no longer required to register with state and growers don’t have to be subjected to state inspection, but both growers and patients say the changes don’t go far enough.

Right now, so-called caregivers are only allowed to grow for five patients apiece and they can’t sell any extra crop.

“If we have a good crop we have no way to transfer that to dispensary and still be compensated which is a problem because dispensaries are short of product,” said Jacob McClure, a caregiver/grower.

And the dispensaries complain they’re

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