New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Maine

January 15th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

HALLOWELL, Maine — From the brick sidewalk lining the main street of this tiny city of antiques and bistros, you can dodge up a wide alley and make a quick turn to see an unobtrusive white sign near a door.

You’ve found the Wellness Connection of Maine, the newest of the eight medical marijuana dispensaries allowed in the state following a referendum that passed in 2009.

The law expanded the conditions under which people could be prescribed the drug, and allowed retail dispensaries where patients may legally buy marijuana with a doctor’s prescription to ease the pain of chronic diseases.

In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 photo, Becky DeKeuster, executive director of the Wellness Connection of Maine, comments on the facility in Hallowell, Maine, at the state's latest marijuana dispensary. The nonprofit Wellness Connection of Maine opened its doors last week for what may be non-patients' only inside look at the medical marijuana dispensary.

But despite the 3-2 vote of support statewide, Maine towns and cities have not always welcomed medical marijuana facilities with open arms. Some slapped moratoriums on them, and worried residents effectively barred them from their neighborhoods.

In Hallowell, the city of 2,400 nestled in Augusta’s shadow, Mayor Charlotte Warren turned out to formally welcome the state’s latest dispensary in the spirit of its “good neighbor policy.”

Warren said she understands that some people’s reservations about medical marijuana but is confident that “this will be a professionally operated medical center.”

The nonprofit Wellness Connection opened its

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