A medical marijuana trade group in Maine has reached out to a town where unemployment is on the rise, serving as an example of how the industry can attract new workers, win over locals and benefit the economy.
The Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine held a job fair and business conference on Monday night in the town of Lincoln, where a local paper mill laid off 200 people in December. The free introductory seminar discussed how to become a medical marijuana caregiver and how to navigate the state’s rules regarding medical marijuana, making edibles and other topics.
Organizers of the group said they specifically chose the town because of the economic hardships caused by the recent layoffs. The move helped foster a positive impression of medical marijuana in the community and encouraged some to consider jobs in cannabis. One attendee said he hadn’t smoked marijuana in 40 years, however the loss of his job convinced him to learn more about the medical marijuana industry.
More than 70 people attended the conference. Representatives from the medical marijuana group said caregivers in Maine can expect to earn between $30,000 to $50,000 a year. State regulations restrict caregivers to distribute marijuana to just five patients, however advocates there are working to increase that number.
The group’s representative, Paul McCarrier, estimates there are between 2,500 to 3,000 caregivers in the state.