As of March 24, 2013

Bills and Hearings on Cannabis Bills in the Maine Legislature

Upcoming Public Hearing:

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013, 1:00pm

Cross Building, Room 214, Capitol Complex, Augusta

The Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is holding a Hearing on:

* LD 525

An Act To Promote Industrial Hemp

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legi...s/HP034401.asp

Summary:

This bill would amend Maine’s current industrial hemp law that supposedly allows Maine farmers to grow industrial hemp, but only of approved seed, with unreasonable registration restrictions, and only if the Federal Government approves of the license.

This bill removes the requirements that an applicant for an initial license to grow industrial hemp for commercial purposes must submit a set of the applicant’s fingerprints and file with the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry documentation indicating that the seeds planted were a type and variety of hemp approved by the commissioner and also repeals the provision that licensure is contingent upon action by the Federal Government.

Sponsored By: Representative HARVELL of Farmington

Cosponsored By: Representative BENNETT of Kennebunk; Representative CHASE of Wells; Representative HICKMAN of Winthrop; Representative JONES of Freedom; Representative KESCHL of Belgrade; Representative PARRY of Arundel; Senator PLUMMER of Cumberland; Representative RUSSELL of Portland; Representative SANDERSON of Chelsea; Representative SIROCKI of Scarborough

*******************************

If you can’t attend a Public Hearing, written testimony can be sent to the Clerk of the Health & Human Services Committee. If you live in a town represented by a Committee member, you can call or email your Representative or Senator as their constituent and let them know your opinion of the bill.

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee members and contacts: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/acf.htm

************************************************** ********

Upcoming Bills

* LD 480

An Act To Establish Fees under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legi...s/HP033001.asp

Summary: This bill places a limit on the Fees the Department of Health & Human Services may impose upon caregivers and dispensaries. If a qualifying patient revokes the designation of a registered primary caregiver to cultivate for the patient, the registered primary caregiver may substitute a new qualifying patient for the former qualifying patient without payment of an additional fee. It specifies that no fee will be required of patients or non-cultivating caregivers. It requires if the Medical Marijuana Program revenues exceed expenses, the amount that is being taken in by fees, the fees will be proportionately reduced.

Sponsored By: Representative SANDERSON of Chelsea Cosponsored By: Representative FARNSWORTH of Portland; Representative GATTINE of Westbrook; Senator HAMPER of Oxford; Representative HARVELL of Farmington; Representative MALABY of Hancock; Representative PETERSON of Rumford; Senator PLUMMER of Cumberland; Representative SIROCKI of Scarborough; Representative WILSON of Augusta

No Public Hearings Scheduled yet.

Health & Human Services Committee contacts at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/hum.htm

*******

* LD 1062

An Act To Add Conditions That Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legi...s/HP075501.asp

Summary: This bill amends the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act to add to the list of debilitating medical conditions for which a physician may certify the use of medical marijuana. The conditions added are post-traumatic stress disorder, opiate or pharmaceutical drug addiction and recovery and any other medical condition or its treatment as determined by a physician.

Sponsored By: Representative DICKERSON of Rockland Cosponsored By: Representative DION of Portland; Senator GERZOFSKY of Cumberland;Representative MASTRACCIO of Sanford; Representative RUSSELL of Portland;Representative VILLA of Harrison

No Public Hearings Scheduled yet.

Health & Human Services Committee contacts at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/jt_com/hum.htm

********

* LD 1161

An Act To Ensure Regulated Safe Access to Medical Marijuana

Bill text: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legi...=1456&snum=126

Summary: This bill proposes to increase the number of medical marijuana dispensaries, and to ensure that the additional newly authorized dispensaries are located in previously underserved areas within the State. This bill is a concept draft, so whatever committee hears the bill can make major changes and revisions, and the bill may expand to address issues of increased tracking and testing.

Sponsored By: Senator GERZOFSKY of Cumberland

No Public Hearings Scheduled or Committee Assignment yet.

********************************

The following bills are proposed, but have not yet been released from the Revisor’s Office.

* LR 1876

An Act To Clarify and Correct Provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act

Sponsored by Rep. Dion of Portland

Summary: This bill is expected to address regulations on dispensaries and caregivers, including the new DHHS Rule requirement that all plants be tagged with a patient’s last name.

********

* LR 1869

An Act To Amend the Medical Marijuana Law Regarding Excess Harvested Marijuana

Sponsored by Rep. Hickman of Winthrop

Summary: This bill is a constituent request that is expected to allow patients or caregivers to sell excess marijuana to dispensaries.

This bill would allow caregivers to have employees, and lift the limit on amount of patients a caregiver could provide for as long as they stay within plant limits.

********

* LR 1583

An Act To Ensure the Integrity of Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program

Sponsored by Rep. Gilbert of Jay

Summary: This bill would allow caregivers to have employees, and lift the limit on amount of patients a caregiver could provide for as long as they stay within plant limits.

********

* LR 929

An Act To Amend Industrial Hemp Laws

Sponsored by Rep. Sanderson

Summary: It is possible that this bill has been combined with LD525, “An Act to Promote Industrial Hemp,” sponsored by Rep. Harvell.

********

* LR 150

An Act To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients with Respect to Housing

Sponsored by Rep. Russell of Portland

Summary: This bill is expected to address concerns about proposed policy by the Maine State Housing Authority to prohibit possession or use of medical marijuana by patients in Section 8 and other housing that receives MSHA funding.**

********

* LR 21

An Act To Regulate and Tax Marijuana

Sponsored by Rep. Russell of Portland

Summary: This bill proposes to allow sale of cannabis for recreational use based on model language developed by the Marijuana Policy Project out of D.C. Licenses would be limited by town, and administered by a new Bureau of Marijuana Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement established within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The Bureau would be charged with developing rules on the cultivation and processing of cannabis, as well as being charged with tracking and enforce payment of a $50 an ounce tax on the wholesale of cannabis, in addition to the 5% retail sales tax. Individuals over 21 would be allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces from a retail outlet and grow up to 6 plants (including seedlings.) Preference in awarding of licenses would go to corporations and board members of currently licensed dispensaries. Dispensaries would be exempt from the tax, though under current bill language, caregivers would not be exempt from the new tax.

This bill would work in conjunction with Federal legislation submitted this session that would remove marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances, and require growers in states that legalize marijuana to obtain licenses from the Federal government. Federal legislation would also require that growers pay a 50% excise tax on sales from producers to retailers, and impose an additional $1,000 annual tax on cannabis growers, and a $500 a year tax on cannabis businesses.