In 2016, voters in Maine authorized the legalization of adult-use cannabis, lawmakers in Maine haven’t allowed outgoing power of Gov. Paul LePage to shield the destination of the will of the People. Earlier in May, state legislators overpowered LePage’s veto of a bill which legalizes the adult-use retail sales. In July, they overwhelmed the governor’s veto of the extension of a medical marijuana program. Since most of the limits were imposed on caregivers and dispensaries lifted by the new bill, the medical marijuana industry of Maine can operate more freely—and innovate. And caregivers in Portland and Maine are already benefiting from the new rules, utilizing an old walk-in cooler to change a convenience store into the first combination gas station and medical cannabis dispensary in the state.
Earlier this month, the ancient Getty Mart on Warren Avenue in Portland was more than a gas station and convenience store. According to the new medical marijuana law of Maine, which brought many changes to the 19-year-old medical cannabis program of the state, it had turned to the Atlantic Farms Gas N’ Grass, a one-stop gas station, convenience store, and medical cannabis dispensary. According to the new regulations of the program, caregivers reinstate more medical dispensaries and employ more workers to staff them. However, cities and towns can prohibit industry operations. Dispensary owners should get public approval before legally operating.
Furthermore, Maine caps its medical dispensary licenses. Before the extension became effective, the program approved just eight such permits. The new rules will support six more grants. Apart from state licensing, it’s compulsory for dispensary businesses to obtain local permits.
The new Gas N’ Grass of Portland will provide a complete suite of medical cannabis products including flowers, edibles, and concentrates. To purchase these items, customers will need a government-issued ID and their medical cannabis card. However, anybody can purchase hemp-based CBD products. The Press Herald reported that Gas N’ Grass sells flower for $5 to $15 per gram and concentrates $20 to $40 per gram. According to the Co-owner Jackson McLeod, the selection will be the highest quality. The new medical cannabis rules of Maine permits caregivers to buy products straight from other caregivers. And it will permit medical marijuana patients who buy at the Gas N’ Grass to have more variety. McLeod said that they provide different menus based on the best cannabis products from the best caregivers in Maine.
Before McLeod became a significant player in the cannabis industry, he was a lettuce farmer. Hence, he likes thinking of his business model as a farmers market for medical cannabis. However, customers won’t be able to sample any goods on site, unlike a farmers market. Similar to the other states, the medical cannabis regulations of Maine strictly bans public consumption.
Interestingly, merging a gas station convenience store with a medical dispensary tends to reduce concerns about drug-impaired driving profoundly. However, with the unapproved consumption, people should not begin combining two retail services since it will lead to more intoxicated drivers. Moreover, similar to retailers of alcohol and tobacco, convenience stores are ready to verify customers’ identification. Most of them have installed the necessary steps to many large measures of cash and adult-use substances.