Maine lawmakers passed a far-reaching rewrite of the state’s medical marijuana program this week, replacing qualifying conditions with doctors’ discretion, expanding the number of allowed dispensaries, and allowing home-based caregivers to grow their businesses.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the MMJ overhaul bill, now awaiting final approval from Maine’s notoriously anti-cannabis Governor, Paul LePage, is intended to reconcile the state’s medical program with regulations for recreational marijuana, bolstering statewide cannabis access before the adult-use market debuts next year.
“This gives more clarity to municipalities, patients, and medical marijuana providers on what they can and can’t do,” Republican Senator Roger Katz said on Tuesday. “There is going to be a single set of rules if someone wants to set up a marijuana store.”
In addition to opening medical marijuana access to anyone whose doctor recommends it, regardless of ailment, the MMJ rewrite will allow for six new dispensaries to open over the next three years, pushing the total number of state-sanctioned pot shops to 14. Facing increased competition from the state’s impending recreational industry, the new legislation would also allow medical