Bill would allow non-prescription drugs to be sold from vending machines in Maine

Rep. Maureen Terry (D – Gorham). Photo courtesy Maine Legislative website.

AUGUSTA – A State Representative from Gorham wants to pass a law that would allow non-prescription drugs to be sold in Maine from vending machines.

The bill, titled “An Act To Allow for the Sale of Nonprescription Drugs through Vending Machines” is one of the first batch of proposals sent through the Maine Revisors Office to the Maine Legislature.

The bill, LD 37, is sponsored by Rep. Maureen Terry (D – Gorham) and has garnered four co-sponsors so far. It is expected to be referred to the Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Commerce next week.

The text of the proposal essentially carves out an exception in state law to allow non-prescription drugs to be sold in vending machines.

Supporters of allowing vending machine sales of medicines say it is a help for people who live in rural areas or people who need access to over-the-counter medicine at odd hours when stores are not open.

Across the nation, there has been little opposition to vending machines that dispense over-the-counter medicine, but occasional controversies have erupted around issues such as groups who want Plan B, commonly called the morning after pill, in vending machines on college campuses or in locations some people find inappropriate.

Rep. Terry’s bill does not specifically mention any over-the-counter drugs that would be excluded from sale in vending machines, but the bill could be amended as it works through the legislative process.

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