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Why are there only 8 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Maine?

The statutes only set a limit of 8 dispensaries for the first year. After that, 8 is the minimum.
11. Limitation on number of dispensaries.  The department shall adopt rules limiting the number and location of registered dispensaries. During the first year of operation of dispensaries the department may not issue more than one registration certificate for a dispensary in each of the 8 public health districts of the department, as defined in section 411. After review of the first full year of operation of dispensaries and periodically thereafter, the department may amend the rules on the number and location of dispensaries; however, the number of dispensaries may not be less than 8.
[ 2011, c. 407, Pt. B, §32 (AMD) .]
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Maine considers putting alcohol agency in charge of pot sales

Posted March 17, 2017, at 8:32 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine – The legislative committee implementing Maine’s new recreational marijuana are considering switching the oversight of retail sales from the state agriculture agency to the one that regulates alcohol.

The legalization law approved by voters in November originally tasked the Agriculture Department with the licensing and testing of retail pot. But Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon and Gov. Paul LePage believe the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations is a better fit.

Gideon’s bill also directs $1.6 million to the agency for consultants and rulemaking. The bill is supported by legalization advocates, including Alysia Melnick, who helped lead last year’s ballot campaign.

“We should try to create a system that reflects Maine’s values, Maine’s demographics and Maine’s experience,” Melnick said.

Some licensed caregivers in Maine’s medical marijuana program oppose it.

Others who testified during the public hearing said they also support moving oversight of the medical marijuana program from the Department of Health and Human Services to the liquor agency.