Maine a case study in medical marijuana

August 5th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

MONTVILLE, Maine — Glenn W. Martin said he used to secretly grow marijuana plants among the deciduous and evergreen trees on his family farm, selling the illegal products in Boston and New York to help cover escalating property taxes and other expenses.

Now Martin, 34, cultivates the herb openly in a small greenhouse by his home. He is part of an expanding industry of farmers and other entrepreneurs seeking to profit from a Maine law that allows patients — with a doctor’s approval — to buy marijuana from small growers and nonprofit centers, as well as to cultivate their own.

“I’m focusing on how to make a high-quality product,’’ said Martin. He has also built a 7,000-square-foot barn to produce what he calls a “medicinal mix” of nutrient-rich compost to help marijuana plants flourish. “It’s one of the best things to happen in our area,’’ Martin said of the law, which until two years ago permitted use of the drug, but did not provide options for patients to obtain it legally.

Maine is one of 17 US states, including four in New England, that allow qualified patients with serious illnesses such as cancer to use marijuana to treat nausea and other conditions. State laws vary on how much cannabis a patient can possess and how they can legally obtain the drug.

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A medical marijuana initiative — different in some ways from from Maine’s law — will be on Massachusetts ballots in November. It would allow up

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