The State of Maine has a moral responsibility to medical cannabis patients to keep their medicine affordable and accessible! This is true in all times; however, more so than every when we are in a pandemic. Click here to find out where and how to comment on these rules. <- Comments are currently closed; however, we will keep you posted for next steps.
Despite the pandemic, the medical cannabis industry has persevered and has become the largest agricultural industry in Maine. It has a high level of tax compliance and safety for consumers. Medical cannabis is providing people therapeutically with solace and stability.
Additionally, the industry has provided scores of safe and stable jobs during this time. A much needed boast to all of Maine – especially to rural areas.
Why we believe the new medical cannabis rules are bad for Patients:
- There are new/additional hurdles to patient certifications. Practitioners would have to collect extensive information (including any history of substance abuse) about patients, the mountain of needless paperwork and warnings will likely raise the certification price for patients.** Especially of note are the warnings practitioners will have to provide patients with about the side effects of cannabis use. Do doctors etc. have to provide this for every prescription they write?
- The time to get patient certifications will be bottlenecked by additional paperwork, as well as the departments insistence that e-cards are not permitted. We all know the mail is unpredictable – often slow. This will inhibit immediate access to medical cannabis.
** Oddly enough, it looks like some visiting patients are able to use e-cards depending on what state they are from. Why are Maine patients penalized?
- Requiring security “check-points” to enter the retail store location will decrease the safe atmosphere patients have come to expect and deserve, as well as inhibit non-patients from entering these premises.
- The costs to patients will increase – directly related to extra man hours needed for the bloated tracking system, as well as the excessive package requirements. The program is operating safely and generating the state A LOT of tax revenue. These measures are not necessary.
- The overall retail experience will also be diminished by the required labeling of packages. Though “deli-style” is still allowed, the transaction time will increase as batch numbers and additional information will need to be added to packaging each time. Patients want and deserve to know/see what they are buying and prepackaging does not allow for this “jar to bag” experience.
- The biased, stigmatized views in advertising requirements are disheartening. Especially regarding the restrictions on the use of the word “therapeutic.” You can say “medicinal” though which is a primary synonym – more incongruencies. We need to stop treating medical cannabis as snake oil. It benefits too many people to not allow for acknowledgment of its therapeutic benefits.
- Lastly, nebulous child safety requirements are worrisome. Packaging needs to be accessible for patients with mobility/neurological issues.
These rules further stigmatize medical cannabis and are a huge step back in treating patients like they are doing something illegal 🙁
– – If you feel like we do, that these rules are unnecessary and will harm patients, please fill out the informal comment form here * (comments are due by January 10 at 5pm). There will be other opportunities in the future we’ll keep you posted. We continue to fight for our patients <3.
*Please be polite, yet firm 🙂