As both the recreational and medical cannabis industries in Maine attract more and more attention from successful businesses from Colorado and other legalized states looking to expand their brands here, networking and marketing become more and more vital for local businesses and entrepreneurs. Lucky for us, Home Grown Maine, the longest-running cannabis industry convention in New England, is held right in our backyard (well, Augusta). The 6th annual event will be held at its now familiar home at the Augusta Civic Center Saturday, June 3 () and Sunday, June 4 ( ).
The brainchild of Maine’s Medical Marijuana Caregivers trade association (MMCM), the convention serves as an educational outreach for those looking for information on Maine’s medical marijuana program, legislative updates on both programs, the latest developments in technology and ancillary products, and as a crash course on the ever-growing range of business opportunities available to those who want to enter the industry. In addition to being able to interact with dozens of exhibitors representing every aspect of the industry (including many mmj caregivers & advocacy groups), and being able to purchase a wide array of the best smoking, vaping, dapping and storage accessories, there are two full days of top notch programming that delivers value to beginners and industry veterans alike.
This year’s programming will include a legislative panel featuring Rep. Diane Russel, Sen. Eric Brakey, Rep. Deb Sanderson, Charlotte Warren, and Hillary Lister; a Doctor’s panel, Women’s panel, and lab panel. There will also be experts speaking about marijuana treatment for children with epilepsy, PTSD for veterans, and opiate addiction. Specialized workshops also run throughout the weekend focusing on every aspect of the industry: Tax advice addressing Maine Revenue Service Sales Tax Requirements, advice on creating Supernatural Soil, the uses of CBD, Greenhouse Growing & Light Deprivation, cannabis extraction methods, dealing with DEA, cultivation, LED, and microclimate technology, and quite a few more.
In addition, onthere is a “Captains of Industry Fundraising Dinner” held at the Augusta Country Club (19 Hammonds Grove [Route 202] in Manchester, Maine). This event is a fundraiser for MMCM with a minimum donation of $75 per person per ticket, which includes the buffet (gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan option). There will be a cash bar and live music as well. The convention also features an MMJ patient medicating tent on site (vaporizing only, need MMJ card to enter).
About MMCM and Home Grown Maine: HGM serves as the main annual fundraiser for the group’s work supporting and promoting safe access to medical marijuana in Maine. MMCM was formed as a Trade Association in 2010 following the passage of the Medical Marijuana Initiative, after the state legislature pushed through major changes to the Initiative before allowing it to go into law in 2010. Changes included a ban on outdoor growing, removal of legal protections for patients, and requiring all patients be registered with the State. In 2011 the intent of the Citizen Initiated law was restored with the help of the association. Since that time, MMCM has been in the State House every session, working to improve the state's medical marijuana laws. Maine's medical marijuana laws were rated the best in the country by Americans for Safe Access in 2013, balancing needed safety protections with patient privacy protections.
As seen in every state with a medical marijuana program (and especially in those who have also adopted recreational use laws), there are many varying opinions on what the best course should be in protecting the future of Maine’s caregivers and patients, and many of those who originally supported the group have parted ways in support of different paths. While it’s never possible for one organization to represent the opinions and/or best interests of an entire industry, MMCM’s Home Grown Maine show is a fantastic example of how people with differences of opinion can come together, find common ground, and work towards solutions that help everyone.