Maine, Other States, Approve Licenses For Medical Marijuana Distribution Centers

Augusta, ME: State health officials have approved proprietors for six of the state’s eight authorized medical marijuana dispensaries.

According to local news reports, three non-profit corporations have been chosen to operate the six facilities. One of the groups, the Northeast Patients Group, was selected to establish four of the six facilities. The Northeast patients Group is associated with the Berkeley Patients Group, a prominent California medical cannabis dispensary.

State health department officials received proposals to operate dispensaries from over two-dozen applicants.

The state declined to name operators in the two remaining health districts. Applications for those two regions will be reopened later this summer.

In April, state lawmakers enacted legislation authorizing the creation of up to eight nonprofit medical cannabis dispensaries – one for each of the state’s public health districts. Under the measure, dispensaries may legally “acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational materials” to state-authorized medical marijuana patients. Maine citizens approved the creation of state-licensed dispensaries in a statewide vote last November.

Lawmakers in Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC have also enacted regulations overseeing the production and distribution of marijuana. However, to date only health officials in New Mexico have licensed proprietors to legally produce and dispense marijuana to qualified patients.

In Rhode Island, health officials are in the final process of deciding which among 15 applicants will receive state authorization to produce and dispense marijuana to the state’s 1,800 registered patients.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.