Protect the Maine Medical Program!
The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy has long been at odds with members of the cannabis community in the Pinetree State. Maine’s medical caregivers and cultivators, who have spent years growing and developing their brands, perfecting their processes, and getting their hands dirty creating some of the country’s best cannabis products are frequently slighted and misrepresented by the rules and regulations developed by the OMP.
Time and time again, they invite multi-state industry dispensaries with similar financial interests to sit at the table with them while they create drafts and guidelines that directly impact Maine’s small cultivators the most – often at the behest of those who have built Maine cannabis to be the thriving industry that it is today.
The most recent round of adjustments to the Medical Marijuana Program Rule was announced in early January of 2022. Over a week’s time, the general consensus from the medical cannabis community was how it’s usually been when the OMP writes a new draft or issues changes to the medical program – anger, frustration, and crippling disappointment.
Some key concerns that Maine’s medical community have spoken up on since the OMP has dropped the new draft are as follows:
- Several changes that are difficult, costly, and detrimental for small business owners to adopt
- A lack of adequate representation within the Office of Marijuana Policy, as those people making the rules are largely representative of and associated with out of state, adult-use organizations infringing upon Maine’s well-established medical market
- Stringent expectations and follow up from the OMP via frequent, scrupulous inspections; this includes 24/7 video monitoring, track & trace on cannabis products, and upgrading to specific alarm systems
- These rules would implement a framework that is designed for small businesses and Mom & Pop shops to fail
- Maine has more than twenty years of maintaining a successful and ever-evolving medical program – many are viewing these rule changes as completely unnecessary and more of a power grab for those with vested financial interests
The bottom line is this – the Maine medical program will not go quietly. Since it was enacted in 1999, caregivers and cultivators have continuously and tirelessly put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work. If there’s anything that this community knows how to do, it’s how to stand up for what we believe in and care about.
If you depend on Maine’s medical cannabis for quality, homegrown medicine, make your voice heard.
Educate yourself – read the full, sixty-page draft of the new rule here:
In addition, a virtual public hearing on these rules was slated by the OMP for Wednesday, February 2nd at 10:00am EST. Those impacted by the draft are encouraged to submit a public comment for OMP review here by 11:59PM EST on Sunday, February 13, 2022.