Medical marijuana grows economy, advocates say

November 10th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Exhibitor Kyle Orce (left) of Fresh Solutions LLC describes his wares to David Sturdee and Nesa Webber of Nobleboro at the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine trade show in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — For Paul McCarrier, organizer of the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine’s trade show on Saturday, it’s all about the economy.

Gesturing to the large conference room floor where several dozen exhibitors are selling their wares and services, McCarrier said the legalized use of marijuana to treat various ailments created an entrepreneurial bloom.

Almost all are small-business operators. Many are artisans, crafting glass pipes and T-shirts. Others are experts in the cultivation of the plant, providing advice and equipment such as grow lights, compost and greenhouses.

And, of course, there are the marijuana growers, who were well represented among the 150 or so who wandered through the trade show. Three years after a citizens initiative was passed and the state tweaked law to create dispensaries and licenses for growers, there are 768 people cultivating the plant, six plants per patient for no more than five plants.

McCarrier compares the cottage industries that have grown around legalized medical marijuana in Maine to the many businesses that supply car manufacturers with specialized parts.

“It’s the economy of it,” he said.

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