Federal Government Cancels Maine’s Mental Health Grants Due to State’s Medical Cannabis Program
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Federal Government Cancels Maine’s Mental Health Grants Due to State’s Medical Cannabis Program

A federal agency has cut $3.3 million in funding because Maine allows students to use medical cannabis.

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May 20, 2020

A federal agency has canceled $3.3 million in funding that supported Maine’s mental health programs for students because the state allows them to use medical cannabis, according to a Lewiston Sun Journal report.

Maine was awarded a five-year federal grant in 2018 that would provide $1.1 million in annual funding for the state’s Maine-AWARE program, which helps support student mental health in three of the state’s districts, the news outlet reported.

While Maine received the funding for the first two years, the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which handles the grant, has notified the state that the funding will be cut due to a policy change that cancels the grant to states that allow students access to medical cannabis, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported.

Now, RSU 10 in Rumford, RSU 20 in Searsport and the Calais School Department, the three districts that received funding through the program, will not receive any additional funding for the remaining three years of their pilot programs, which aim to ensure that all students have access to evidence-based social emotional learning strategies, positive behavioral interventions and screenings, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.