AUGUSTA — A trade show hosted by Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine will go on as scheduled this weekend, contrary to a false cancellation notice posted when the group’s Facebook page was hacked.

“It is unfortunate that someone would want to sabotage our event,” Kim Printy, executive director of the caregivers’ group, said in announcement posted Friday.

“Ultimately it hurts the 2,500 caregivers in Maine who look forward to attending the trade show to take advantage of educational opportunities so they are able to better serve their patients.”

It’s the second time the caregivers’ website has been attacked. Someone shut down the organization’s website about two months ago, Catherine Lewis, chairman of the board and director of education of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, said Friday.

This is the second year in a row that the show has been held at the Augusta Civic Center; it premiered there in 2011.

The show this year has 130 exhibitors registered, 25 more than last year, according to Earl Kingsbury, civic center director.

The event is billed as “the largest medical marijuana trade show in New England,” featuring educational workshops and panels on issues related to medical marijuana as well as vendors offering new marijuana processing and extraction systems.

About 3,000 people are expected to attend.

The show opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, is open to the public with an admission fee.

Since smoking is prohibited at the civic center, a tent is erected in the parking lot where patients with medical marijuana prescriptions can use vaporizers to get their medication.

Entry to the “vape tent” requires pre-approval from the staff of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine. To prevent the spread of insects or plant disease, show rules prohibit bringing live marijuana plants inside.

Kingsbury said the caregivers’ group putting on the event is conscientious.

“They’re very well organized. They know the law and make sure any exhibitors and attendees are following the laws,” he said.

He said at last year’s event, 30 to 40 volunteers were “constantly walking around to make sure everybody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Organizers posted “Trade Show Rules” Friday at the civic center stating that “buying, selling, bartering or raffling of medical marijuana” is prohibited.

The rules also say, “A certified patient or caregiver may donate medical marijuana to another certified patient.”

The event will feature medical marijuana merchandise, including toys from an Angrybuds.com booth, plus feature discussion panels on pest management, legislation, legal issues, interacting with the Drug Enforcement Agency and other issues.

Augusta police Deputy Chief Jared Mills said Friday there have been no criminal problems previously at the event.

“Unless requested by the Civic Center, we do not anticipate any increased presence at the event,” Mills said.

A marijuana event organized last year by a different group in Portland ultimately was canceled after a permit was denied, following concerns about marijuana being consumed in a tent area.


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