August 15, 2010

California ties seen as help and hindrance

Links to experienced dispensaries might ease the beginnings in Maine, but also raise concerns.

By John Richardson
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Richard Lahrson of Berkeley, Calif., shows his doctor's recomendation and an identification card to Paul J. White before entering the Berkeley Patients Group clinic in Berkeley.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Another licensed dispensary, Remedy Compassion Center, also has California roots, but has not generated the same kind of controversy.

Tim and Jennifer Smale plan to open their dispensary in the Lewiston and Auburn region. The couple also hopes to win a license for a York County dispensary. The state reopened the application process there after rejecting all six proposals filed in the first application round.

Jennifer Smale is a Yarmouth native and the couple has owned a home in Vienna for years.

Before moving back east earlier this year to seek a dispensary license, Tim Smale was general manager of CannBe, an Oakland, Calif.-based start-up consultant to medical marijuana dispensaries. Jennifer Smale helped run the company.

CannBe is a business arm of Harborside Treatment Center, an upscale and fast-growing dispensary in Oakland that is serving as Smale's primary business model for the Maine venture.

Smale, who has not hired CannBe to help him, said Maine is off to a good start because it is being careful to choose good, experienced dispensary operators.

"(Maine's) application process was, I think very stringent, and brought the professional level very high," he said.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:


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