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Graphic: Digital Journal

​Maine officials will accept applications starting this week fro residents who want to register as medical marijuana patients under the state’s new distribution system. But some who are already using marijuana under the current rules say they are in no hurry to put their names on the list.

Rules created after last November’s statewide referendum allow eight non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries to be set up in Maine, reports John Richardson at the Kennebec Journal. Prospective dispensary owners have until June 25 to file applications and business plans under guidelines posted last week.
All individuals who want to use medical marijuana must register with the state by January 2011, under the new rules. Applications will be posted online as soon as Tuesday, May 11, ac cording to Catherine Cobb, director of licensing for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Graphic: Maine Medical Marijuana

​Maine’s new medical marijuana dispensary law, passed by voters last November, is chiefly known for its creation of dispensaries where cannabis patients can safely buy their medicine. But a lesser known part of the law, which requires patients and growers to register with the state, is being called an invasion of privacy by some advocates.

State officials say the registry will keep patients who enroll from being charged with marijuana offenses. But some patients said they are going to boycott the registry when it opens in July, reports Josie Huang of The Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

Graphic: Medical Marijuana Blog

​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.