In this July 24, 2017 photo, a Natural Ventures worker trims marijuana plants in Caguas, Puerto Rico. One gram costs roughly $20, although some dispensaries have specials for $10 a gram, which is roughly the average price in U.S. states where medical marijuana is legal. (Ricardo Arduengo, The Associated Press)

Maine officials say they will start surprise inspections on medical marijuana

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is cracking down on the distribution of medical marijuana by allowing surprise inspections and implementing a new patient tracking system.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules Wednesday that tighten Maine’s medical marijuana market. The Portland Press Herald reports the rules will take effect on Feb. 1 and the department did not issue a statement to accompany the new rules.

The group Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine is reviewing the new rules, and plans to hold an educational forum for members to talk about their impact on Nov. 18.

Currently, eight state-licensed dispensaries and 3,200 caregivers serve more than 50,000 patients with a qualifying medical condition, such as cancer or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Information from: Portland Press Herald