Ignore the hackers — the Home Grown Maine Trade show is a go

Community noun

1.  a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2.  a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

That’s what pops up if you Google the word community. It’s the first word I can think of to describe the network of medical marijuana caregivers in Maine, especially the second definition. I’ve been getting to know some of its members as I have been researching their attempts to get addiction added to the list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana.

A home pot grower shows some of his marijuana from a previous harvest inside his apartment in Washington. (Astrid Riecken | The Washington Post)

A home pot grower shows some of his marijuana from a previous harvest inside his apartment in Washington. (Astrid Riecken | The Washington Post)

It’s a largely accepting community, and by accepting, I mean just about anyone is going to find a kindred spirit or at least some level of acceptance among them. Anyone, any age, any background, any color, any medical or mental health issue.

It’s a level of inclusion that I don’t know that I have ever witnessed in a collective before. I’m a big fan of inclusive, diverse groups. It’s one of the reasons I am grateful to have attended University of Maine at Augusta. There, chances are that you’re not the oldest or the youngest or even the only pregnant one.

I’ll admit there seem to be a few caregivers in the business mostly for the financial viability of such work, and a few more who might not fully comply with the law either intentionally or out of misunderstanding, as is the case anytime humans conduct business.  By and large though, the people I have met are passionate about the potential of marijuana to heal and are equally passionate about caring for those in need of healing.

That’s why I was so disappointed to hear that someone hacked an event page for a medical marijuana trade show happening at the Augusta Civic Center this weekend, June 4 and 5. “Home Grown Maine Trade Show” is the fifth annual such event and is being hosted by Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine. Executive director Kim Printy sent out a press release to notify medical marijuana patients that the event is still going on.

From the release:

Unfortunately the page that was compromised maliciously announced though an event setting, that the trade show had been canceled, which is not the case.  We have over 100 vendors coming from all over the country and expect around 3000 attendees.  We have fielded calls and reached out through social media to ensure those people are aware that the “Show will go on!”

Kim Printy, MMCM

I’ve never been to one of these events before, but I will be attending to check it out. Since researching the medical marijuana caregiver community in Maine, I’ve realized that there’s so much more to it than just marijuana. There’s the community itself — and it’s mostly generous, nurturing, and accepting climate; there’s also the hardworking Mainers operating viable small businesses component.

It’s a community that’s representative of all this is best about Maine and Maine people. General admittance for caregivers and patients is $20 for a day pass and $25 for a weekend pass.  MMCM members and veterans get $5 off either pass — and the cost includes several educational opportunities through workshops, lectures, and guest speakers. Saturday hours are 9:00am – 6:00pm; and Sunday hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.