For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 23, 2021
Contact: David Heidrich, (207) 287-3282
Director of Engagement and Community Outreach, Office of Marijuana Policy
On Tuesday, the Office of Marijuana Policy will convene its newly-created Medical Marijuana Workgroup for the first time. The group, which was created by OCP, is 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.
Outcomes resulting from workgroup 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.
Following a competitive application process, the Office has selected 17 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.
“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,” said Erik Gundersen, director of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy. “We are excited and eager to begin this process and thank the selected members for their interest and availability to participate in this important work.”
The following individuals have been selected to serve on the workgroup.
- 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 workgroup will be convened virtually at least four times over the coming months, with the first meeting occurring on Tuesday, September 28 at 2:00pm. Interested members of the public may view meeting livestreams through the OCP YouTube channel or OCP website.
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 DAFS, is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of legalized marijuana in Maine, including Maine’s medical and adult-use programs.