The Maine House of Representatives gave final approval Monday to a bill establishing medical marijuana dispensaries and a patient registration system in the state.
After a short but passionate debate, the House voted overwhelmingly, 128-17, in favor of the bill, which expands Maine’s existing medical marijuana law, reports Susan M. Cover of The Portland Press Herald
In a November 2009 referendum, 59 percent of state voters supported allowing the nonprofit marijuana dispensaries.
The bill makes several changes to the measure approved by voters:
• It limits the number of dispensaries, at least for the first year, to one in each of eight “health districts.
• It gives the Maine Department of Health and Human Services until July 1 to establish rules regarding application and renewal fees for patients, caregivers and dispensaries. Dispensary fees will be set by the department, but will be at least $5,000 and not greater than $15,000 per year.