Medical marijuana might be Lincoln Lakes region’s next growth industry …

January 30th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

LINCOLN, Maine — Maine needs more legal marijuana growers, Paul McCarrier says, and that’s why his organization will offer the Lincoln Lakes region’s 200 recently laid-off millworkers a chance to learn the job for free.

Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine estimates that despite the state having about 1,300 licensed growers, the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of maladies doctors treat with marijuana greatly increases an already pronounced need for growers, said McCarrier, the organization’s legislative liaison.

“Right now there is definitely a need for caregivers to support patients,” McCarrier said Thursday. “It is kind of tough to give any numbers regarding the kind of concrete need there is because there is no mandatory patient registration, but we still get requests.”

Estimates have placed the number of unregistered but legal patients and registered patients at about 13,000. Growers typically make $30,000 to $50,000 annually, according to McCarrier. Many of the patient requests for marijuana come from rural Penobscot, Washington and Aroostook counties, McCarrier said.

“We easily have had over a dozen in the past month alone,” he said.

Normally, the caregivers group charges $30 for its classes, but the informational session in Lincoln will be free to millworkers, with priority given to area residents, officials said. The session will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, at Lakeside Art Gallery, 9 Main St.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services issued 1,311 caregiver cards to treat 1,455 voluntarily registered patients in calendar year 2012, a

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