Four Cannabis-Related Bills Took Effect In Maine This Week

Four cannabis-related bills in Maine took effect this week, shoring up regulatory gaps around cannabis delivery, hiring, and protections for caregivers.

Full story after the jump.

Three cannabis-related bills in Maine took effect on Tuesday without the signature of Gov. Janet Mills (D). The bills cover cannabis home delivery and curbside pickup, the expansion of legal protections for caregivers and other medical cannabis access reforms, and the repealing of prohibitions on hiring cannabis industry applicants with certain prior cannabis convictions.

Mills signed into law a fourth measure providing the opportunity for municipalities to receive financial reimbursements for costs associated with licensing and regulating cannabis businesses.

NORML State Policies Manager Jax James said in a statement that the bills are “common-sense changes” that “will further facilitate patients’ and others’ access to medical cannabis products and will provide opportunities for greater inclusivity within Maine’s licensed marijuana industry.”

The legislation permits reimbursement of up to $20,000 for expenses like legal fees and other costs associated with drafting or amending ordinances, conducting town meetings, or holding elections, according to a Financial Regulation News report. Funding would come from the Adult Use Marijuana Public Health and Safety and Municipal Opt-in Fund, which receives its funding from sales and excise taxes imposed on adult-use cannabis sales.

The bill allowing home delivery and curbside pickup includes language allowing the delivery of immature plants and seedlings. All deliveries must be conducted by licensed retailers and all customers must be 21-and-older.

The measure addressing state caregivers provides many new protections, including limiting the circumstances under which a law enforcement officer may access a location in which a caregiver, dispensary, manufacturing facility, or cannabis testing facility operates. The bill also limits disclosure to a law enforcement officer of information that could reasonably identify an individual patient’s identity without a warrant requiring the disclosure.

The bill also prohibits regulators from requiring a registered caregiver, registered dispensary, testing facility, or manufacturing facility to use a particular electronic system for tracking inventory.

The legislation also authorizes the use of telehealth for medical providers to meet with patients seeking a medical cannabis recommendation and allows for educational materials to be given to patients electronically.

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