Maine Marijuana News

Gabor Degre | BDN

Gabor Degre | BDN

Christopher Ruhlin, owner of Herbal Tea and Tobacco, is shown in the smoking parlor of the Bangor shop.

The owner of a head shop and hookah lounge in downtown Bangor is facing federal drug and money laundering charges.

Christopher Ruhlin, 48, of Holden, owner of Herbal Tea & Tobacco, located at 44 Main St., and his employee, Terrence Sawtelle, 48, of Bangor, were indicted Sept. 14 by a federal grand jury on one count each of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana.

Ruhlin, who has owned the shop since 2011, also was indicted on two counts of maintaining a drug-involved place and seven counts of structuring bank transactions to avoid reporting deposits of $10,000 or more to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The government also is seeking to seize the Frankfort and Bangor properties where marijuana allegedly was grown and sold and the cash Ruhlin allegedly made selling pot.

Maine voters approved marijuana for recreational use in November, seven years after endorsing the use of medical marijuana. President Donald

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In Maine, as in certain other U.S. states, adults can buy beer at a drive-through as if they were buying hamburgers at McDonalds. Now Maine is considering extending drive-through privileges to cannabis.

First reported by the Press Herald, Maine’s proposed cannabis regulations would establish a system where adults 21 and older could purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries through a drive-thru window, as well as being able to purchase cannabis over the internet.

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The proposed regulations earned praise from cannabis advocates like David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project.

“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” Boyer told the Press Herald’s Penelope Overton. “The voters want it regulated and taxed like alcohol. The rules should be the same.”

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(TNS) — Maine may make purchasing an ounce of marijuana almost as easy as buying a six-pack of beer.

Proposed adult-use cannabis regulations from the Legislature’s marijuana committee would allow licensed retail stores to sell pot from drive-up windows and over the internet. Like any other recreational marijuana consumer, drive-up and online customers would have to show identification to the window or delivery employee to prove they are at least 21 years old.

Supporters say such retail conveniences are already available to the state’s alcohol industry and will help Maine’s new legal marijuana market compete with a thriving illegal market. But opponents, including a leader of the marijuana committee, warn against making it too easy to buy a drug that is still illegal under federal law, and too hard for new state regulators to track sales.

“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” said David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter

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Members of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation will soon debate newly proposed regulations that would allow adults to purchase cannabis online or from drive-thrus. The proposed rules are part of a new bill that sets up a regulatory framework for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and sales. The bill will set guidelines and application fees for canna-businesses, and also proposes a 20% sales tax rate for legal cannabis.

Supporters of the regulations argue that these conveniences will help convince cannabis consumers to purchase legal products instead of turning to the black market. “Back in July, the committee agreed that delivery would help combat the black market,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine. “We know that convenience is one of the big reasons that somebody turns to the black market, but price is an even bigger one. That is our top priority, keeping it affordable for Mainers.”

Proponents have also argued that since these methods of purchase have been deemed acceptable for alcohol sales, they should be acceptable for cannabis sales as well. “If Maine allows it for

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San Diego will have a fully legal and regulated marijuana industry including cannabis farms, factories making edibles and retail storefronts selling the drug to both medical and recreational customers.

The City Council voted 6-3 on Monday to legalize local cultivation, manufacturing and testing of marijuana when new state laws take effect in January.

The council also agreed earlier this year to allow legally approved medical marijuana dispensaries to expand their sales to recreational customers. The city has approved 17 such businesses and 11 have begun operating.

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The approval came despite strong objections from Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who warned of significant threats to public safety that she said couldn’t be outweighed by new tax revenue from the highly profitable industry.

The council majority said, however, that creating a local supply chain for the city’s dispensaries would boost the economy, create jobs and improve the quality and safety of local marijuana by eliminating the need to truck it in from elsewhere.

They also said it would prevent a local “black market” of unregulated cultivators and

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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, September 21, 2017 and Island Ad-Vantages, September 21, 2017 and The Weekly Packet, September 21, 2017
Retail marijuana in Maine: what we know

Retail operations allowed under the Marijuana Legalization Act:

Retail marijuana stores.

Retail marijuana cultivation facilities.

Retail marijuana testing facilities.

Retail marijuana product facilities.

Retail marijuana social clubs (not to be legal until probably 2019).

State action:

Moratorium in place through January 31, 2018.

Draft bill released September 12 by bipartisan legislative committee to amend law; regulatory rules to follow.

Legislative vote expected in special legislative session in October.

Retail marijuana establishment licenses may be issued starting summer 2018, except for social clubs (2019).

Proposed bill gives municipalities hosting retail operations 5 percent of the revenue from proposed 20 percent state tax.

Four tiers of cultivation sites, from up to 500 square feet to 30,000 square feet.

Twelve percent of the proposed 20 percent state tax to go to a public health and safety fund.

Municipal authority:

May prohibit any or all retail operations.

May regulate the

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Maine may make purchasing an ounce of marijuana almost as easy as buying a six-pack of beer.

Proposed adult-use cannabis regulations from the Legislature’s marijuana committee would allow licensed retail stores to sell pot from drive-up windows and over the internet. Like any other recreational marijuana consumer, drive-up and online customers would have to show identification to the window or delivery employee to prove they are at least 21 years old.

Supporters say such retail conveniences are already available to the state’s alcohol industry and will help Maine’s new legal marijuana market compete with a thriving illegal market. But opponents, including a leader of the marijuana committee, warn against making it too easy to buy a drug that is still illegal under federal law, and too hard for new state regulators to track sales.

“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” said David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter of the

Read More Here...

BLUE HILL — While it is aiming to have laws in place for its Recreational Marijuana Initiative by 2018, Maine will not allow licensing for marijuana social clubs until 2019, according to Bar Harbor attorney Lynne Williams.

Williams, whose practice includes cannabis business law, spoke at a community forum about retail marijuana Monday at the Blue Hill town office.

The Penobscot Bay Press hosted the forum, which was moderated by Publisher Nat Barrows.

Blue Hill is holding a referendum Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to decide which, if any, of the potential retail marijuana uses voters will allow.

State Sen. Kimberley Rosen (R-Hancock County) sits on the Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee.

When reached by email about the delay in social club licensing, Rosen said, “We need to see how the rules and regulations work before we dive right in to social clubs.”

About 50 Blue Hill residents, downtown business owners and selectmen from neighboring towns attended the forum.

One resident asked about marijuana being addictive, which she said she’d never heard before.

“Is this something

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AUGUSTA – Legal marijuana will be one of the topics explored at Maine Municipal Association’s upcoming 2017 Annual Convention.

Attorneys Edward Kelleher and Amy Tchao, with the Maine-based law firm Drummond Woodsum, will lead a 2.5 hour workshop updating municipal leaders on the current state of legalized marijuana in Maine and the practical municipal implications. The workshop is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 1 p.m.

More than 1,000 Maine municipal officials, exhibitors and speakers are expected to attend MMA’s 81st annual convention on Oct. 4 and 5, according to a release from MMA. The convention will be held at the Augusta Civic Center.

Other topics include the opioid epidemic, climate change and Maine’s coast and an aging municipal work force. Other speakers include:

• Jessica Kriegel, a Sacramento-based expert on young professionals and how municipal employers can recruit and retain them. Kriegel, a nationally known human resources consultant to the Oracle Corp., and author of a book about the millennial generation called “Unfairly Labeled,” will speak at 8:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

• Scott Paine, a former political science

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National: 

On Wednesday, Senator Orrin Hatch announced the introduction of legislation to ease research on medical marijuana. The MEDS Act would streamline the research registration process and increase marijuana availability for research and the production of FDA-approved drugs derived from the plant. It would also require the Attorney General to increase the quota for marijuana cultivation in an expeditious manner to meet the need for marijuana for research, medical, and other purposes.

The MEDS Act was previously introduced in 2016 by Senator Brian Schatz, who is joining Hatch in introducing the 2017 bill. Its reintroduction is in part a response to reports that the Department of Justice is stalling efforts to increase the federal marijuana cultivation quota.   

Nevada: 

On Friday, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an injunction prohibiting the Department of Taxation from issuing any more cannabis distribution licenses. The case centers around a provision in the state’s voter-approved recreational cannabis law that grants alcohol distributors exclusive rights to transport marijuana from growers to retailers. The Department determined earlier this year that alcohol distributors alone would be unable to meet demand for

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