For Immediate Release: Friday, August 20, 2021
Contact: David Heidrich, (207) 287-3282
Director of Engagement and Community Outreach, Office of Marijuana Policy
AUGUSTA – Today, the Office of Marijuana Policy announced it is seeking qualified applicants to fill seats on its newly-created workgroup meant to advise on regulatory issues, best practices in patient access and education, contribute to ongoing improvements in Maine’s medical cannabis program, and fulfill the stakeholder engagement charges in Public Laws 2021, ch. 387 and Resolves 2021, ch. 95.
The new Medical Marijuana Workgroup is to be composed of at least 16 external members who represent Maine’s medical marijuana industry, cannabis patients, public health system, and towns and cities. Representatives from OCP will chair the workgroup and join members in discussions which will focus on changes or updates which may be necessary to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program.
“We look forward to the opportunity presented by convening a group of well-qualified individuals in pursuit of a shared goal to both preserve patient access and support the regulated marketplace,” said Erik Gundersen, director of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy. “Our vision as a cannabis regulator has always been to develop a good faith partnership with our stakeholders by establishing rules and policies that provide interested consumers with access to a regulated industry.”
The workgroup will be convened virtually at least four times over the coming months. 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.
Workgroup members will serve as volunteers and must satisfy the requirements of the specific seats they seek to hold. The Office is seeking individuals who will fill the following positions: At least five registered caregivers, two registered dispensary representatives, one marijuana testing facility representative, one products manufacturing facility representative, three qualifying patients who are not also registered caregivers, two individuals representing municipalities in Maine, and two relevant health care professionals. The Office reserves the right to include additional representatives at its sole discretion.
Additional information and applications to the workgroup are available on the OCP website: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/ocp/workgroup. OCP is scheduled to accept applications from now until the end of the day on Friday, September 3, 2021.
Virtual meetings of the Medical Marijuana Workgroup will be held on the following dates:
- Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 2pm-4pm EDT
- Tuesday, October 12, 2021 from 2pm-3:30pm EDT
- Tuesday, November 2, 2021 from 2pm-3pm EDT
- Tuesday, November 30, 2021 from 2pm-3pm EST
This effort should not be confused with the State of Maine’s Marijuana Advisory Commission, a public entity—of which the Department of Administrative and Financial Services is a member—that is tasked with advising the legislature on matters related to the medical and adult-use programs. Unlike that effort, establishment of this workgroup is temporary, and members will advise OCP directly.
The Office, a division of the 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.