Maine Advocacy Group Calls For Tighter Medical Regulations

Maine Advocacy Group Calls For Tighter Medical Regulations
High Times

A new group, known as Protect Maine’s Cannabis Consumers, said last week that “it will work to raise public awareness about the Maine medical marijuana industry’s lack of regulations and urge the Legislature to mandate both product testing and so-called track-and-trace requirements, closing what it says is a ‘dangerous loophole,’” according to the Portland Press Herald. The group is drawing attention to a peculiar disparity between the state’s two cannabis programs. As the Press Herald noted, while the adult-use recreational program, which debuted in 2020, requires tracking and testing, the medical cannabis program, which Maine voters legalized back in 1999, does not. The president of the advocacy group, Kevin Kelley, said at a press conference on Friday that the inconsistent requirements between the two cannabis programs “defies common sense.” Those concerns echo what one of the state’s top cannabis officials said last year. Erik Gundersen, director of the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, told Maine lawmakers in November that there was persistent illegal activity within the medical cannabis program. As reported by the Bangor Daily News at the time, Gundersen said his office “has fewer ways to regulate the medical use market than the recreational market for which retail sales started just last year,” and that it “would be helpful if there were tools to ensure that cannabis grown in the medical program stayed within it.” The newspaper reported that Gundersen believes “there’s more illegal activity connected to the state’s medical marijuana industry and that his office has few tools to prevent medical cannabis from finding its way to the black market.” With only 12 field investigators, Gundersen said his available resources are not “sufficient for performing the necessary level of oversight when the investigators are only getting to registrants every four to five years.” In August, Gundersen announced the…

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