The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) last month released guidance that effectively bans medical cannabis caregivers without a storefront from selling pre-rolls and liquid concentrates, the Associated Press reports. The new rules treat the products like tobacco, requiring all purchases to be made by individuals 21 and older. Previously, those products could be provided by individuals 18 and older with valid medical cannabis cards.
Sen. Craig Hickman (D), co-chair of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, called the move by the OCP “executive branch overreach and bad faith.”
“Let medical cannabis caregivers go into the winter without more fear and anxiety that they are going to lose their shirts or be fined and imprisoned for conduct explicitly authorized under current statute.” — Hickman, in a letter to OCP, via the AP
Sharon Huntley, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, told the AP that the guidance is not actually a policy change, rather it outlines “the current state law for registrants and licensees” and is meant to eliminate confusion.
The guidance doesn’t have an impact on adult-use cannabis retailers, which requires customers to be 21 to purchase any cannabis products, but has led to confusion for the state’s medical cannabis caregivers.
Arleigh Kraus, who grows medical cannabis and produces pre-roll products, called the guidance “confusing,” “scary,” and “nonsensical.” She said state law requires lawmakers to be consulted on rule changes and that small business owners are worried about being penalized for running afoul of the rules.
Hickman said lawmakers should have a say and that the rules are contrary to the will of voters.
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe