State OKs Down East Marijuana Dispensary
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State OKs Down East Marijuana Dispensary
Posted by CN Staff on August 31, 2010 at 19:52:53 PT
By Kevin Miller, BDN Staff
Source: Bangor Daily News
Augusta, Maine -- State health officials on Tuesday selected a Portland-based nonprofit to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the small Washington County town of Whitneyville.Primary Organic Therapy Inc. hopes to operate one of eight tightly regulated facilities in the state where qualified patients or their caregivers can legally purchase marijuana for treatment of various ailments and medical conditions.
Voters approved the establishment of such dispensaries and marijuana-growing operations last November in order to make it easier — and safer — for patients to acquire the drug under Maine’s 10-year-old medical marijuana law. But the state has limited the number of dispensaries statewide to eight in the first year.On Tuesday, a special review panel within the Department of Health and Human Services named the recipients of the final two dispensary licensees: Primary Organic Therapy and Safe Harbor Maine Inc. of Biddeford, which will operate a dispensary in York County.Primary Organic Therapy plans to open the dispensary in a former doctor’s office on Main Street in Whitneyville, a town of roughly 250 people located less than five miles from Machias.According to the organization’s application with the state, Whitneyville was selected because it is centrally located within the public health district that the dispensary will serve.“We feel this will allow access by the greatest number of communities in the district,” the application states. “For those patients that cannot drive to our facility, we will also offer safe and secure delivery service to ensure they can get access [to their] medication.”Derek Brock, CEO of Primary Organic Therapy, said he had not spoken with Whitneyville town officials, but that he planned to now that the state has approved the application.News of the medical marijuana nonprofit’s interest in the Down East community came as a surprise to Patricia Dowling, a member of the Whitneyville Board of Selectmen.Dowling said the board had not been informed about the application. She declined to comment further on the prospect of a medical marijuana dispensary locating within Whitneyville, adding only: “We’re a very small, very quiet town.”Approved by a wide margin by voters, last November’s referendum made Maine the latest state to allow regulated dispensaries of a drug that — while legal in Maine for patients with a doctor’s recommendation — remains illegal under federal law.Obama administration officials have indicated they have no interest in prosecuting medical marijuana users or suppliers as long as they are complying with state laws.Brock, who described himself as a botanist, said he has witnessed within his own family how medical marijuana can help patients. Brock said he wants Primary Organic Therapy to help educate the public and fight the stigma against the medicinal use of marijuana.“It’s something that I believe in,” he said Tuesday of Maine’s new dispensary system. “It’s something that states all across the U.S. need to adopt.”In the months since last November’s vote, state officials and lawmakers have put in place a complex set of regulations meant to prevent abuse of the law and to ensure that the dispensaries and growing operations do not pose a threat to public safety.State law already prohibits dispensaries from locating within 500 feet of a school. Municipalities could expand that prohibition zone or impose additional restrictions, such as security standards tougher than those required under the state’s rules.Numerous towns and cities throughout Maine, including Bangor, have adopted moratoria in order to take the time to write local zoning for dispensaries. Whitneyville has not taken that step.Three other companies already had been selected to open dispensaries in Maine’s six other health districts. However, DHHS reopened the application process for the two remaining districts after all of the initial applicants failed to demonstrate that they could meet the financial, safety and logistical requirements to operate a dispensary in Maine.During the second round, seven organizations vied for the chance to run a dispensary in District 7, which covers Hancock and Washington counties.Primary Organic Therapy received the highest score on a grading system that considered, among other things, the applicant’s: long-term business plan, planned safety measures, location convenience, record keeping, quality control and previous business experience.“The quality of applications in this round was much improved,’’ said Cathy Cobb, director of DHHS’ Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services. “It was clear that these applicants studied the winning applications and as a result, scores were generally higher.”Dispensary license holders not only may distribute medical marijuana or products containing the drug to registered patients or caregivers but also may grow the plants. Under the new law, growing sites may cultivate six plants for each registered patient.Primary Organic Therapy also had submitted an application for a dispensary in York County with a growing operation in Sanford that would serve both the southern Maine and Whitneyville dispensaries. Since that application was not selected, the nonprofit’s board soon will discuss where to locate its District 7 growing operation, Brock said.Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)Author: Kevin Miller, BDN StaffPublished: August 31, 2010Copyright: 2010 Bangor Daily News Inc.Website: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #11 posted by museman on September 02, 2010 at 10:32:48 PT
"That's why I believe we, all of us, must always project the highest possible level of articulation, eloquence and mind-soundness at all times, ever, especially when the general public has its ears on"Absolutely! Unfortunately, this medium of anonymous internet posting leaves a lot of room for posers, pretenders, and false claimants who believe 'clever' to be the equivalent to 'articulation, eloquence, and mind-soundness' -and since there is no way to force truth here, lies and false doctrines can easily worm their way into focus, to distract and redirect the course of truth, discovery and correct progress.One can assume that the motives for everyone that posts their opinions to be of the highest ethical foundation, but that assumption leads to denial of the truth when the community turns it's collective head away from the uncomfortable situation that arises from having to confront the posers, pretenders, and liars with the truth.Also unfortunate, is the state of our collective consciousness, which many (claiming articulation, eloquence, and mind-soundness) do not acknowledge or believe in. And the status quo standards set up by these very same poser, pretenders, and liars are upheld out of a lack of desire to 'rock the boat.'But I certainly agree in principle, even if the practice is lost in shallow 'academia' and 'science-based reality' and the determination of what is 'articulate, eloquent, and sound of mind' is left to undeserving 'intellectuals' who are recognized by mere virtue of their fame, their "credentials," and not the content of their words.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 02, 2010 at 05:37:22 PT
Paint with Light
 They just don't have a fair test for marijuana so to me drug testing is wrong. Until they can develop a test for impairment which should clear in a couple of hours drug testing is immoral to me.
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Comment #9 posted by Paint with light on September 02, 2010 at 00:41:56 PT
My take
I thought Grinspoon was the most articulate although he seemed more thoughtful on his answers instead of relying on the practiced sound bite answers, which also have their place.I thought ASP was off on two main points.On driving he seemed to buy into prohibiting all driving under the influence instead of linking it to the level of impairment.He did not compare the relative impairment of .08 alcohol versus the average high from cannabis.Of course I have said on here for a few years now that driving is one of the only places I disagree with NORML.ASP when describing the acceptance percentages between medical, decrim, and legalization made a remark about the "wisdom" of the percentage for legalization being the lowest of the three.For me the wisdom and moral high ground is with full re-legalization.I appreciate all ASP and the others do for our cause and we can't all agree all the time.Full re-legalization just like alcohol.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 01, 2010 at 19:35:12 PT
My Opinion On What I Didn't Hear
I have been sidetracked and didn't listen to it but I have no doubt I would have listened closely to Dr. Grinspoon. I prefer someone like him to listen to because I don't know any Joe Six Packs. Joe Six Packs don't listen in my opinion. 
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Comment #7 posted by Universer on September 01, 2010 at 19:19:01 PT
Love Lester
His 'Marihuana Reconsidered' was a huge leap for us way back when.And I'm not dissing what he had to say. I listened carefully, loving that it was a very pro-cannabis panel Diane's producers had assembled.But perception-wise -- and for those with no opinion or who are disinclined to agree with us, perception is all they have, and these gentlemen are our liaisons and their educators -- Allen was direct, pointed, and spoke in paragraphs, while Dr. Grinspoon -- the facts within his statements notwithstanding -- occasionally stammered and doubled back within his sentences.We, all of us, constantly fight the stereotype of the stupid slacker stoner. Dr. Grinspoon is, needless to say, neither stupid nor a slacker nor a stoner. He's a freakin' hero.But Joe Sixpack doesn't know that. All Dummy Joe hears is some pro-pot guy yammering on his tune-box, and Joe has a tendency to draw immediate and erroneous conclusions, then sit on them.That's why I believe we, all of us, must always project the highest possible level of articulation, eloquence and mind-soundness at all times, ever, especially when the general public has its ears on.Marc Emery, Bruce Mirken, Allen St. Pierre, Paul Armentano, Keith Stroup, Richard Lee -- these are just a few (certainly each of you could rattle off more) really smart guys who present our side extremely well, shattering stereotypes as they didactically and comfortably and sagaciously speak.Dr. Grinspoon is usually on that list, but his performance with Diane was -- and standards are quite, ahem, high -- underwhelming.Maybe he needed a toke.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on September 01, 2010 at 18:36:12 PT
82 thank you SJ for that
i like what he said..he called out the DR about no studies being donetold of the art of tritrition -- the ability to learn how the body feels with short amounts taken from the fumes of heated Cannabis.he talked like a carring DR please listen to the interviewmostly i liked the calm forward looking reality of when Cannabis is again regulated and accepted by the people
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Comment #5 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 01, 2010 at 17:37:42 PT
Lester is 82!
I'd cut him some slack.
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Comment #4 posted by Universer on September 01, 2010 at 11:50:56 PT
As well
Ekim: Agreed. Allen was, in general, on point and articulate. Grinspoon had good things to say, but apparent difficulty putting them into coherent sentences.(I have a bias toward those who can speak well and dynamically. I believe the ability to speak is directly correlational to the ability to think. I've heard Grinspoon be better -- and as a friend of Carl Sagan, I would have thought the popular astronomer's eloquence would have rubbed off more.)Nevertheless and notwithstanding. Also heard on WAMU, my local NPR station:-- Kojo Nnamdi Show of D.C.'s impending implementation of medical cannabis, and general discussion of same.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on September 01, 2010 at 09:10:16 PT
great interview 
would have loved to hear just one patient call from a non med cannabis State and tell Diane and the rest of US what would happen if they tried and used Cannabis.Allen made important point that State must stop taking away 
persons right to grow and not give it to big industry.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 01, 2010 at 07:05:13 PT
Thank you for the heads up.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on September 01, 2010 at 06:32:12 PT
NPR the Diane Rehm show at 11am today
Dr. Lester Grinspoon 
associate professor of psychiatry (emeritus) at Harvard Medical School.Allen St. Pierre 
executive director, NORML and The NORML Foundation, a nonprofit foundation established to better educate the public about marijuana and marijuana policy options.Stephen DeAngelo 
executive director of the Harborside Health Center in Oakland and San Jose, California.Dr. Donald Vereen 
physician and director of community-based public health at the School of Public Health, the University of Michigan; former deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
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