State to hold first meeting of medical marijuana workgroup, aiming to streamline regulation

The mission of a new medical marijuana workgroup is to help the state’s growing medical cannabis market keep growing.

The group was created recently by Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy in Augusta. It’s expected to advise on regulatory issues and best practices in patient access and education, and also to contribute to improvements in Maine’s medical cannabis program.

The group is scheduled to meet for its first virtual meeting Tuesday, from 2-4 p.m.

Three subsequent virtual meetings are scheduled for October and November. For more information, click here

Outcomes resulting from the meetings are expected to include steps that may be taken through legislation and rulemaking or developing recommendations for streamlining the office’s licensing and compliance processes to ensure the medical use program is fulfilling the hallmarks of a regulated industry.

Members of the group were selected through a competitive application process. The members represent Maine’s medical Marijuana industry, cannabis patients, public health system, and towns and cities.

“The number of submissions we received in response to our call for applications is incredibly encouraging and ensures that all of our stakeholder groups are well-represented,” Erik Gundersen, director of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy, said. 

Representatives from the Office of Marijuana Policy will chair the group and join in discussions.

The following individuals were selected:

• Registered Caregivers: John Black, Earth Keeper Cannabis LLC; Catherine Lewis, Homegrown of Hallowell LLC; Paul T. McCarrier, 1 Mill; Susan Meehan, Mae’s Mamas Supplements and Consulting; Joel Pepin, JAR Cannabis Company and SJR Labs; David Vickers, ORIGINs, Shwaggle Farms and Sundown Beverage Co.

• Registered Dispensaries: Joshua Quint, Canuvo; Heather Sullivan, Curaleaf.

• Testing Facilities: Barry Chaffin, Nova Analytic Labs.

• Product Manufacturers: Alex McMahan, The Healing Community MEDCo.

• Qualifying Patients: Patricia Callahan; Michelle Caminos, EdD, RN; Sean P. McDonough.

• Relevant Health Care Professionals: Jamie Comstock, Bangor Public Health; Julie Milliken, MSN, APRN, FNP-c, ENP-c., Maine Medical Certifications LLC.

• Municipalities: Christopher Beaumont, xity of Portland; Rebecca McMahon, Esq., Maine Municipal Association.

Unlike Maine’s Marijuana Advisory Commission — tasked with advising the legislature on matters related to the medical and adult-use programs — the new group is temporary and members will advise the Office of Marijuana Policy directly.

The office, a division of Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services, is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of legalized Marijuana in Maine, including Maine’s medical and adult-use programs.

Author: Sunny Dupree
Sunny Dupree is a seasoned journalist, keynote speaker and founder of Weed America: A Journalism-Minded Agency, which handles public relations, content marketing, social media, events and thought leadership for brands and executives in legal cannabis, hemp technology, alternative healthcare, and other new industries.