Two decades after legalizing medical cannabis access, Maine lawmakers continue to work to perfect their program.
Representative Lynn Williams (D- HD 135) says, “Support for the issues around Maine’s medical marijuana program crosses many lines: Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and Greens; Downeast, Southern and Northern Maine; rural and urban; twenty-somethings, retirees and all in-between. Medical marijuana is bringing Maine together even among those who have no involvement with it.”
Rep. Williams is the author of LD 1928, which streamlines the state’s medical access program and further limits the actions that law enforcement can take against registered medical card-holders, among other actions. The measure also expands patients’ access to cannabis by allowing them to utilize telehealth plans and by authorizing registered caregivers to provide plants to qualified patients.
In its most recent work session, LD 1928 was voted Ought to Pass (OTP) by members of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee with strong bipartisan support. If you are a Mainer, send a message to the committee members thanking them for supporting cannabis legislation.
“Once legislation to create these types of programs has been enacted, it is imperative that lawmakers and regulators continue to perfect and improve these programs so that important patient and consumer issues that were not initially addressed or arise can ultimately be resolved,” said Jax James, NORML’s State policy Manager. “We see conversations now taking place to address and resolve issues surrounding workplace testing, equity, expungement and expanded patient access to medicine.”
Separate legislation, LD 1957 seeks to end discriminatory hiring practices within the state-licensed cannabis industry. It does so by removing prohibitions in the law that currently prohibit employers from hiring those with criminal convictions for past drug offenses. LD 1957 recently passed out of committee with a divided report. Another pending bill, LD 1827 allows marijuana stores in Maine deliver marijuana products products to adults located anywhere in the state, as long as the store operates solely as a retailer.