Purchasing legal marijuana has always been a long process. If the dispensary you go to is busy (most of them are) you have to wait in a long line with many others. But what if you could pick up your weed at the same time as you gas up your car and get some snacks for the road?
That awesome thought is becoming a reality in Maine.
Convenience stores are all about ease of access and getting whatever you might need at that moment. Usually, you can fuel up your tank, get cigarettes, drinks, and maybe some snacks. But now in one convenience store in Maine, you can get your bud there as well.
Atlantic Farms Gas N' Grass is a convenience store located at the Getty Mart on 460 Warren Avenue in Portland, Maine where you can, as the name suggests, fuel up your car and get your marijuana. Gas N’ Grass sells medical marijuana and other products that contain THC such as cannabis-infused gummies, tinctures, and flower. Of course, you can still get traditional convenience store items as well.
That means you can get your bud and munchies in the same place. Jackson McLeod, co-owner of the interesting store says they are always getting new product but it is all high-quality cannabis.
McLeod said, “We offer a rotating menu of the best cannabis products from the best caregivers in Maine with the convenience of, well, a convenience store.”
Anyone with a medical marijuana card and government-issued identification can go in and buy some of Gas N’ Grass’s THC filled products. All of the cannabis-related products are behind a glass door that takes you into a renovated walk-in cooler. In there you will find many different strains ranging in price from $5 to $15 a gram and concentrates selling for $20 to $40 a gram according to Sun Journal.
The convenience store gets roughly 250 customers a day and sells the cheapest gas in the area which makes it a hot spot for everyone. There are only a few marijuana convenience stores around the U.S. and this is the very first to make its way to Maine. Jeff Lenard, the spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, says that gas stations are the perfect place to sell marijuana.
Lenard said, “While more and more gas stations are beginning to sell hemp products, which by law contain less than 1 percent of the cannabis compound that gets people high, there are only a handful of other convenience stores in the United States that sell gas and marijuana. In some ways, convenience stores are ideally suited to selling cannabis. The industry is accustomed to verifying identification for age-restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco – 4.5 million age verifications a day, and embraces high-security measures that could work well to discourage robberies in a cash-only market like marijuana.”
The reason this store just opened is thanks to the changes to Maine’s medical marijuana laws. The new laws allow for medical marijuana to become more available to those who need it, removed several requirements, increased safety measures, and allows businesses to create more products. Wellness Connection Chief Executive Patricia Rosi was excited about this change and is ready for new medical marijuana.
Rosi said, “Thanks for taking the time to share this milestone with us today. Today marks the implementation of a sweeping and much-needed reform in the medical cannabis program.”
Jessica Coakley who has always wanted to get medical marijuana but was never able to is excited that she can receive it instead of being dependent on opioids.
Coakley explained, “I think the biggest thing that would have helped me before is the pre-qualifying conditions. I, for two years, thought that my pain wasn't enough. I didn't have a specific diagnosis that was spelled out on the list."
This change in medical marijuana laws allows people like Coakley to get the help she needs and for places like Gas N’ Grass to operate legally. But many are very concerned about the message that Gas N’ Grass and other marijuana gas stations are sending to drivers. Some feel as though it is a danger waiting to happen when you mix cars and weed.
But McLeod says that Gas N’ Grass does not condone driving while under the influence of marijuana or any other substance. The company is also implementing a sticker that reads “don’t use this and drive” on every product containing marijuana to prevent such accidents from happening.
While I understand that people worry about others driving while high, but how is this situation any different than a gas station selling alcohol? The truth is that it isn’t and people need to understand that. Yes, there will always be people who drive while high, just like people drive drunk but that is not the majority which is part of the stigma associated with those who use marijuana.
Also, this is medical marijuana, and those who are getting it are using it for a condition or pain, not to do anything crazy. This is an awesome convenience store concept and I am sure as legalization continues, we will see more of these popping up throughout the U.S.
1.Penelope Overton Fuel up on gas and grass at Maine’s first medical marijuana convenience store. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/12/13/fuel-up-on-gas-and-grass-at-maines-first-medical-marijuana-convenience-store/
2. Maine’s first pot convenience store opens for business. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.apnews.com/af58a7247b6448d596c2e3779a9e6736
3.Christopher Gavin A gas station with a medical marijuana convenience store just opened in Portland. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2018/12/13/gas-station-medical-marijuana-store-portland
4.Penelope Overton Fuel up on gas and grass at Maine’s first medical marijuana convenience store. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.sunjournal.com/2018/12/13/fuel-up-on-gas-and-grass-at-maines-first-medical-marijuana-convenience-store/
5.Melanie Lindsay How Working At A Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opened My Eyes. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from https://www.elitedaily.com/news/politics/working-medical-marijuana-dispensary-opened-eyes/946605
6.Irwin Gratz Changes To Maine's Medical Marijuana Rules Take Effect. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from http://www.mainepublic.org/post/changes-maines-medical-marijuana-rules-take-effect
7.Kelly Tatera Heavy Marijuana Use Is Actually Linked to Lower Dopamine Release in the Brain, Study Finds. Retrieved December 14, 2018 from http://thescienceexplorer.com/brain-and-body/heavy-marijuana-use-actually-linked-lower-dopamine-release-brain-study-finds