OAKLAND, Calif. – Steve DeAngelo didn’t come west just to open the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary.
He has bigger plans.
“I’m all about creating a cannabis distribution model that will be accepted in the heartland of America,” DeAngelo said.
He may be getting closer to that goal. DeAngelo’s creation – Harborside Health Center – will be one of the models for Maine’s first medical marijuana dispensaries.
Eight storefront dispensaries are expected to open in Maine this winter. They will expand access to the drug for patients in and around Portland, Augusta, Bangor and five other communities. They also will take marijuana out of the shadows and put it in plain view.
“We create an environment where people can look at cannabis and re-evaluate the way they feel about it,” said DeAngelo, who is not involved in Maine.
No one expects Maine to turn overnight into Oakland, perhaps the country’s most pot-friendly city. Mainers are already pretty comfortable with medicinal pot, however, having first legalized it in 1999 and then, last fall, voting to establish dispensaries.
Now, activists hope, dispensaries will get Mainers even more comfortable with cannabis.
Click to read the rest of John Richardson’s story in the Portland Press Herald.