On September 28, 2021, Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (“OMP”) convened its first virtual meeting with the newly established Medical Marijuana Workgroup (“MMW”). Maine’s State Legislature, through Public Laws 2021, ch. 387 and Resolves 2021, ch. 95, directed OMP to fulfill certain stakeholder engagement requirements, which precipitated these meetings. The group will advise on regulatory issues and best practices for patient access and education while contributing to the development of Maine’s medical marijuana program.
OMP selected the following individuals to participate in the MMW:
- Representing 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; and David Vickers, ORIGINs, Shwaggle Farms, and Sundown Beverage Co.
- Representing Registered Dispensaries: Joshua Quint, Canuvo; and Heather Sullivan, Curaleaf.
- Representing Testing Facilities: Barry Chaffin, Nova Analytic Labs.
- Representing Product Manufacturers: Alex McMahan, The Healing Community MEDCo.
- Representing Qualifying Patients: Patricia Callahan; Michelle Caminos, EdD, RN; and Sean P. McDonough.
- Representing Relevant Health Care Professionals: Jamie Comstock, Bangor Public Health; and Julie Milliken, MSN, APRN, FNP-c, ENP-c., Maine Medical Certifications, LLC.
- Representing Municipalities: Christopher Beaumont, City of Portland; and Rebecca McMahon, Esq., Maine Municipal Association.
The first half of this initial meeting focused on introductions, with each representative stating his or her primary goals for the group. During the second half of the meeting, the group discussed patient access, and then Director Gundersen of OMP gave the participants an opportunity to set agenda items for upcoming meetings. Topics proposed for discussion were as follows:
- Patient education (required agenda item based on the group’s directives)
- OMP’s use of data in developing proposed rules
- The role of municipalities in regulating cannabis businesses
- Options to improve lines of communication between municipalities, OMP, patients, and other stakeholders
- Options to improve communications with other state agencies such as Maine Revenue Services and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and clarifying how other state agency requirements intersect with the operations of a marijuana business
- Discussion of possible change to allow for digital/electronic patient cards to access medical marijuana in Maine
While the number of participants in the work group is limited, anyone can submit topics to OMP that they would like to have the group address. Requests for additional topics of discussion should be sent to David Heidrich, OMP’s Director of Engagement and Community Outreach, at email@example.com.
More information about the Medical Marijuana Workgroup, along with written materials and videos of the group’s meetings, can be found on OMP’s website here: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/workgroup.
If you have questions about the current status of Maine’s marijuana laws and regulations or the work of this stakeholder group, please reach out to a member of Drummond Woodsum’s Licensing and Regulatory Compliance division.