Similar to what doctors and pharmacists have done, Maine medical marijuana caregivers are forming a trade association to give them a unified voice in the state. But its members say it also will also help to ensure good prices and advocate for patients.
"We're here first and foremost to advocate on behalf of people's whose job this is," Jonathan Leavitt, board chairman of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine said today. "We're also here to guarantee that patients get the best prices, and that's going to be done by forming real solid relationships with caregivers and helping them network to lower their prices."
Maine has just recently authorized one dispensary for each of the state's eight regional public health districts. It also allows caregivers to provide one-on-one services to patients who suffer from chronic, painful illnesses and find relief in marijuana. About 100 of the roughly 500 caregivers in the state have banded together in the new trade association, Leavitt said.
Besides creating a setting for making patient referrals, Leavitt sees the association as a single voice to advocate for common interests. One example is its members see a need to drop a portion of the law that requires marijuana-treated patients to be registered with the state.
"We resent that," said Leavitt, who noted that recipients of other medicines don't have to be registered. He said there are now between 750 and 1,250 registered patients. Caregivers also would like to be allowed to legally possess more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.