Efforts to Grow Maine’s Hemp Industry

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Recent changes in how the federal government regulates the once-forbidden plant, coupled with the rising popularity of medicinal products made from its flowers, have fueled a boom in hemp farming. Today’s growers and researchers are working to find the way forward for a crop that was all but lost to decades of prohibition.

Ed Charbonneau is standing in a field of shaggy, green plants topped with sticky flowers that sparkle with a coat of tiny crystals. The air around this field in Whitefield is heavy with the musky odor of mature hemp buds. Charbonneau is cutting branches and even digging a plant up by the roots to take back with him to his home state of Florida.

Source:  Maine Public

Maine’s high court upholds town ownership of beach in Kennebunkport

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Maine’s highest court has ruled that the town of Kennebunkport owns Goose Rocks Beach, possibly ending a decade-old legal battle over ownership and control of the 2-mile stretch of oceanfront.

The 42-page ruling traces control of the beach back to the colonial period and dismisses arguments made by nearly two dozen beachfront property owners that ownership of the beach had effectively reverted to neighbors rather than to the public.

“Therefore, on the record before us, and in the absence of any evidence suggesting that the disputed land was conveyed into private ownership, we affirm the holding of the trial court that in the unique circumstances of this case, legal title to the disputed land seaward of the seawall, including the beach, is held by the Town of Kennebunkport for the benefit of the public,” the ruling says.

Source:  Portland Press Herald

Maine’s ‘death with dignity’ law is in effect. 

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Maine is now one of nine states to allow people to adopt such a law after it was passed by the Democratic-led Legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills in June.

Adults with a terminal illness who are deemed mentally competent can request life-ending medication from a doctor, who can choose to fill the prescription after two oral requests, two waiting periods and one written request with recordkeeping requirements.

Source:  BDN Maine

Maine chefs switching to cannabis edibles employment

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As restaurant owners in Portland and beyond struggle with a back-of-house labor shortage that they say threatens their business model, Bishop and a wave of other cooks responsible for elevating the Maine food scene over the last decade are finding better wages, less stressful work environments and greater opportunities for advancement in cannabis. Equipped with years of training, cooks are becoming caregivers, bartenders are now “budtenders” and pastry chefs make better livings as cannabis chocolatiers and candymakers.

Source: Maine Restaurant Workers Are Finding The Marijuana Industry ‘Much More Appealing’ | Maine Public

Effort to restore wild Atlantic salmon

The Downeast Salmon Federation says about 250,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon will be released into the East Machias River. The project is part of the International Year of the Salmon effort that is taking place in different countries. The Atlantic salmon is a focus of conservation in Maine because it’s listed under the Endangered Species Act in the United States.

Source: Group To Release Thousands Of Rare Salmon In Maine River | Maine Public

New skate park in Windham 

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A concrete skate park is in the process of being built on the 13-acre property it shares with the Windham Public Safety Building, 375 Gray Road.

Brooks believes that this time, the site will be kept clean because it will be home to “more different types of users.”

In addition to a skate park, there will be sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, walking trails and a playground constructed in several stages over the next few years.

The park’s users will be “stewards of their space,” Brooks said, and there will be “more people there using it for varied reasons” than there used to be.

The town also has a seasonal park ranger available from May through October who will spend some time at the park.

 

Source: Portland Press Herald

 Maine government computers hit with virus

A virus forced state officials Wednesday to shut down computers and servers at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Maine State Archives.

However, no public data was compromised and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said all affected services should be restored Thursday by the Office of Information Technology, known as OIT.

“The cybersecurity measures we have in place through OIT, combined with the immediate actions taken by our Information Services team, left us with minimal impact from what could otherwise have been a far more serious incident,” Dunlap said.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Lewiston rental registration program coming

The City Council passed a first reading Tuesday of an ordinance requiring all multi-family buildings to join a city registry starting in 2020. Officials, voting unanimously, called the ordinance a compromise after years of discussions on a potential rental registration program in Lewiston, which supporters have said would provide the city with up-to-date contact information and other necessary data to boost communication with code enforcement and safety efforts.

Source: Lewiston Sun Journal