Governor Baldacci Names Task Force to Implement New Medical Marijuana Law
November 17, 2009
AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci today announced the names of the appointments to the Committee on the Implementation of the Maine Medical Marijuana Act. The Governor created the task force by Executive Order on Nov. 6, following the medical marijuana law approved by Maine voters. The Governor said the task force would advise him on the appropriate way to implement the new law with safeguards to protect public health and safety.
The Governor appointed 10 members of the 14-member task force. In addition, two members of the Senate have been appointed by the President of the Senate and two members House of Representatives by the Speaker of the House.
The following people have been appointed by the Governor, representing the interests as outlined by the Nov. 6 issued Executive Order:
Commissioner Brenda Harvey, Department of Health and Human Services
Commissioner Anne Head, Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Commissioner Anne Jordan, Department of Public Safety
Attorney General Janet Mills
Faith Benedetti, currently self-employed and former Program Coordinator of the Dayspring AIDS Support Services, representing patients who would be qualifying patients under the direct initiative
Gordon Smith, Executive Vice President, Maine Medical Association, representing physicians
Dan Walker, partner at Preti Flaherty, a supporter of the Direct Initiative “An Act to Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act”
Kandyce Powell, Executive Director, Maine Hospice Council, representing the hospice movement in Maine
Ken Altshuler, partner at the firm Childs, Rundlett, Fifield, Shumway & Altshuler, representing the public
John McElwee, retired District Court judge, representing the public
The Legislative Members are Sen. Joe Brannigan and Rep. Anne Perry, chairs of the Health and Human Services Committee, and Sen. Stan Gerzofsky and Rep. Anne Haskell, chairs of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
“This group of people will help the State follow the intent of the law, which Maine voters approved earlier this month,” Governor Baldacci said. “There are complicated issues that must be addressed as we create a new pharmaceutical distribution system, and we must ensure that these issues are thoughtfully addressed to ensure that the law is followed and that Maine people are protected from any unintended consequences that could create serious problems in the future.”
The task force will meet Dec. 1, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. The task force is charged with reviewing the implementation of similar laws in other states; making recommendations on the implementation of the law in Maine, including recommendations for changes in the enacted law that are deemed necessary to ensure effective implementation and ongoing monitoring of the medical marijuana program, and protection of public health and safety; and advising the Department of Health and Human Services in its development of proposed rules and fee schedules.
The task force will make its recommendations by Dec. 31, 2009.