Micky Bedell | BDN
Benny Carrasco is seen in this October 2016 file photo. He and his business partner Mike Damren (not shown) are licensed to grow medical marijuana in Maine.
By Michael Shepherd, BDN Staff • March 7, 2018 5:11 pm
AUGUSTA, Maine — A legislative panel recommended a sweeping overhaul of Maine’s medical marijuana program on Wednesday that would allow six new dispensaries above the eight in current law and end the cap on them completely in 2021.
The proposal endorsed by the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee would be the most major overhaul of the medical program since it was established by Maine voters in 2009 but has shrunk since the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016.
Now, Mainers with a doctor’s certification to use marijuana to treat certain conditions or symptoms can buy medical marijuana at eight state-licensed marijuana dispensaries, through individual caregivers allowed to serve five patients or grow marijuana for their own consumption.
But Maine’s program has constantly struggled with the regulatory balance between dispensaries and the state’s