Rep. Pluecker introduces legislation to help small medical marijuana farmers, increase product efficiency standards

Tue, 03/30/2021 - 11:00pm

    AUGUSTA — State Representative Bill Pluecker (I-Warren) continued Monday his legislative agenda of helping Maine farmers and families by introducing two measures to the Legislature’s policy committees, according to a news release. 

    LD 939, “An Act To Support Maine's Medical Marijuana Program and Ensure Patient Access” was presented to the Veterans & Legal Affairs Committee. The legislation is intended to help small medical marijuana farmers, and was inspired by and written together with Warren caregivers to bring some common sense solutions to a successful industry in the state.

    This bill, according to the release, would improve Maine’s medical marijuana industry through nine separate measures focused on clearing up unnecessary limits of who may work on family farms, adapting to current market efficiencies, clearing unnecessary limits on business advertising, and arduous record-keeping. 

    “As a small farmer myself, I understand the work, the risk, and hope behind any act of agricultural entrepreneurship,” said Rep. Pluecker. “I have seen how the medical growers of my district have managed to succeed despite an inhospitable regulatory system.”

    Small industry farmers from around the state spoke in favor of this bill as the public hearing.

    Another bill introduced by Pluecker, LD 940, “An Act To Establish Appliance Energy and Water Standards” was presented to the Environment & Natural Resources Committee.

    Focused on a handful of household and restaurant appliances, these programs and bills have been written and instituted in discussion with the manufacturers of the products.

    There are 16 other states that have passed efficiency regulations on various products and appliances, per the release. 

    As these products are already being produced and sold in our state and across the nation, the implementation of these statutes does not pose a real difficulty for either manufacturers or consumers, the release noted. 

    This bill, per the release, will save Maine ratepayers approximately $9 million annually in 2025 and up to $36 million annually in 2035; savings only increase over time.

    Representative Pluecker introduced this bill in the last session and saw the bill passed in the House, though the measure died before the Senate could consider the measure prior to the legislature’s adjournment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Pluecker is serving his second term in Augusta and is serving on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee, as well as the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee.