Maine Governor Agrees to Delay Implementation of Controversial Medical Cannabis Rules

Maine Governor Agrees to Delay Implementation of Controversial Medical Cannabis Rules

Pixabay / Wild0ne / CC0 Creative Commons

Controversial rules regulating Maine’s medical cannabis program will not go into effect as scheduled. On Jan. 31, 2018, Gov. Paul LePage agreed to delay implementation of the medical cannabis rules, which would have gone into effect on Feb. 1, 2018, until May 2018.

Promulgated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the rules would impose new disclosure requirements for medical cannabis caregivers, as well as short-notice inspections of both the caregiver’s grow site and the patient’s home.

Believing it to be a violation of HIPPA, caregiver advocates have opposed the medical cannabis rules and a lawsuit has been filed in an attempt to prevent the rules from being implemented.

Hoping to address concerns with the rules, the state legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee voted to approve a moratorium bill that would delay implementation. However, the bill was not able to get through the legislative process in time before the rules went into effect.

At the request of Rep. Deborah Sanderson, LePage agreed to step in and help. Speaking with the Portland Press Herald, Sanderson said that while she felt the state’s medical cannabis program needed more oversight, it was important to go about it in a thoughtful manner.

“That is not something we can just do. We have to hear from the department, the community. It would be complicated enough on its own, but we also have to look for ways to dovetail some of the policy we are working on with what is going on with adult-use marijuana,” Sanderson said.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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