Maine’s cannabis conference happening as legal sales near 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The longest-running cannabis conference in the Northeast is coming to Maine’s largest city this weekend. 

The Maine Cannabis Convention is taking place at the Portland Sports Complex in Portland on Saturday and Sunday. The event is presented by the New England Cannabis Network and is slated to include dozens of exhibitors and speakers. 

The event is scheduled to include programs such as “Legal Issues in a Growing Workforce” and “New Technologies in the Cannabis Industry.” It’s taking place as Maine gets closer to legal sales of adult use marijuana. Voters approved legalization of marijuana in a 2016 vote. 

The state already has a medical marijuana program. 

Report: Psychiatric hospital has made improvements 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A report says a Maine psychiatric hospital has made improvements in the past year and has addressed patient care problems that led to its decertification in 2013. 

A special court master filed the report on Riverview Psychiatric Center on Wednesday. He said for the first time in more than 20 years, the Augusta hospital has a full staff of permanent psychiatrists and psychiatric providers, as well as medical care providers for inpatient and outpatient services. 

Riverview was recertified in February. It had been decertified for overcrowding, inadequate staffing and the use of stun guns and restraints to subdue patients. 

The report notes, however, that a lack of capacity for community-based programs is affecting Riverview because it’s often difficult to place patients into programs when they are ready to be discharged. 

Commission to consider raising Maine judges’ salaries 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A legislative commission says it is considering raising salaries for Maine judges. 

The Portland Press Herald reports Maine’s general jurisdiction judges are paid the least in the nation. 

According to the National Center for State Courts, the average salary for Maine judges is $113,000 a year when adjusted for the local cost-of-living. The national median pay is $155,000. 

The Maine Commission on State Compensation will meet Wednesday to discuss increasing pay for judges, the governor and state lawmakers. 

The commission was re-established by lawmakers this year. Rep. Chris Babbidge, who sponsored the legislation, says public officials deserve a raise to better serve their constituents. 

Babbidge has suggested the Legislature only make pay increases effective December 2022, so they can’t vote to increase their own salaries. 

Peak fall foliage season arrives in northern Maine 

VAN BUREN, Maine (AP) — Peak foliage has arrived in northern Maine, the home of some of the earliest leaf-peeping opportunities in the eastern states. 

The Maine Office of Tourism says the northern part of the state reached peak conditions around the end of September, which is typical. The office says the rest of Maine will start seeing more color among the leaves later in October. 

Much of the state is experiencing low-to-moderate conditions, while leaf peepers in parts of the western mountains are also seeing high amounts of color. 

State fall foliage coordinator Gale Ross says “weather going forward includes seasonal day and cooler nighttime temperatures,” and that will bring out classic autumn foliage colors.