AUGUSTA — Small-scale medical marijuana growers in Maine have formed a trade group to organize growers and lobby for legislation.

The group represents one of the few robust sectors of the state’s economy, said Jonathan Leavitt, chairman of the group’s board of directors.

“We deserve a voice at the table when decisions are being made that impact our work,”  he said today at a State House news conference.

The group, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, has nearly 100 members paying dues of $30 a month. It has a staff person working in an office above the State Theatre on Congress Street in Portland.

Leavitt said the group plans to hire two field organizers.

The group’s legislative priorities, he said, include removing a state rule that requires users of medical marijuana to register. Also, the group wants to increase the amount of marijuana that users can possess.

The current limit, 2.5 ounces, is not practical, Leavitt said.

Maine has an unknown number of medical marijuana caregivers who have been allowed to grow and sell marijuana to eligible patients – a maximum of five patients per caregiver – under the state’s decade-old medical marijuana law.

A new law opening the door to Maine’s first storefront medical marijuana dispensaries allows care givers to continue serving patients as long as they register with the state by Jan. 1.