Archive for March, 2013

Maine marijuana growing center cited for using pesticides

March 30th, 2013

AUGUSTA, Maine — A call from an employee of one of the state’s medical marijuana dispensary operations sparked an investigation that found pesticides were being used in violation of rules governing cultivation of the plants, according to a state official.

An employee of Wellness Connection of Maine called the state earlier this month to say pesticides were being used on plants cultivated at the group’s Auburn facility, and investigators found pesticides and more than 20 other violations of rules governing medicinal marijuana.

The state’s medical marijuana rules ban the use of pesticides. Kenneth Albert, Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services director, said the state shared the results of the investigation with Wellness Connection officials on Monday who agreed to stop using pesticides and to make several changes to address the state’s concerns. They will be allowed to continue to sell the plants grown with pesticides but must inform patients that chemicals were used in their growth, he said.

“The state is unable to decide if [the pesticide-treated marijuana is a health issue] because of the lack of research in the industry to know the risks associated with igniting pesticides on cannabis,” Albert said Monday night.

Albert said a death linked to pesticide-treated medical marijuana has been recorded in California, but he did not say when or where that occurred or if the pesticide used in that case is among the nine types found in use in Maine. He described the pesticides found at the Maine

Article source:

State: Marijuana supplier used pesticides, violated rules

March 30th, 2013

March 26

State: Marijuana supplier used pesticides, violated rules

By Michael Shepherd
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA  —   A state investigation of Maine’s largest medical marijuana dispensary group has revealed “a laundry list” of violations of state law and program rules, including pesticide use on marijuana plants, the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday.

(FILE) Wellness Connection of Maine’s Portland marijuana dispensary, located at the end of an alley off Congress Street behind the Local 188 restaurant. Photographed March 29, 2012.`

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Related headlines

Related Documents

Wellness Connection Consent Agreement: terms and conditions
Patient notification with list of pesticides used

Wellness Connection of Maine also lacked proper security and sold an illegal marijuana derivative, according to findings from the investigation, released Monday.

The group will be allowed to continue operating its four dispensaries and sell the marijuana that was treated with pesticides, even though a state official said he doesn’t know whether it could harm patients.

The DHHS said Wellness Connection of Maine, which runs dispensaries in Portland, Hallowell, Thomaston and Brewer serving about 2,400 patients, committed 20 rule violations in its cultivation facility in Auburn and other facilities.

Through the second half of last year and all of this year, nine types of pesticides were used on medical marijuana dispensed by Wellness Connection, said

Article source:

State tells Thomaston medical marijuana dispensary: stop using insecticides …

March 29th, 2013

AUGUSTA — Patients obtaining medical marijuana in Thomaston, Hallowell, Portland and Brewer were possibly inhaling, injesting or absorbing not only THC, but residues of pesticides and fungicides spread under the labels of Doktor Doom and Monterey Garden Insect Spray.

As a result, Wellness Connection, the nonprofit responsible for growing and distributing the marijuana, must clean up its cultivation practices, as well as the conduct of its board of directors.

On March 25, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services signed a consent agreement with Northeast Patients Group, doing business as Wellness Connection of Maine. The agreement followed inspections on March 4 and 6 of the Wellness Connection Auburn cultivation site, and the March 14 inspection of the Thomaston cultivation site, as well as the nonprofit’s four dispensaries. The Thomaston dispensary is at 149 New County Road.

“Based upon these inspections, the department determined that Wellness Connection was not in compliance with the Act or the Rules,” the consent agreement said. That referenced act is the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, as approved in 2009.

“For several months, marijuana plants that had pesticides applied were utilized to produce various medical cannibas products, including tinctures, baker’s mix, and all strains of medical marijuana dispensed by Wellness Connection of Maine,” the state said in its violation notice.  DHHS stipulated that Wellness Connection post the violation notice at its dispensaries and distribute to patients.

Northeast Patients Group, or Wellness Connection, was established as

Article source:

Wellness Connection: Pesticides used to ‘provide clean and safe medicine’

March 29th, 2013

Wellness Connection: Pesticides used to ‘provide clean and safe medicine’

Becky DeKeuster, executive clinical director at Wellness Connection of Maine, responded to a state investigation of the medical marijuana provider by emailing a message to patients explaining some of the investigation’s findings.

Article source:

Marijuana legalization bill gains sponsors

March 29th, 2013

Marijuana legalization bill gains sponsors

Proponents of marijuana legalization say they have “traction” in Maine, as a Portland legislator’s bill to allow recreational use of marijuana awaits a hearing in committee.
Pressure is coming to bear, although not everyone favors the state legislation.Article source:

Marijuana Legalization Measure Formally Introduced In Maine With 35 Co …

March 29th, 2013

maine marijuana legalization LD 1229By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

This week, Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) formally introduced LD 1229: An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana into the Maine legislature. This legislation would legalize the sale of as much as 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana per week to people 21 or older at licensed retail locations. It would also permit for the cultivation of the plant in private settings. The measure has been assigned to the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

In a previous session, an earlier version of Russell’s legalization measure was rejected by House lawmakers by a vote of 107 to 39. States Rep. Russell: “I think there’s been a major culture shift since I introduced this bill in 2011. What we’ll see is a lot more folks ready to talk about this issue.”

This cultural shift is readily apparent in the groundswell of support this legislation has already generated. LD 1229 was introduced with the backing of 35 co-sponsors from across the political spectrum. Those supporting the bill were 2 tribal representatives, 28 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 1 independent. The previous version of this measure only had 4 co-sponsors.

NORML is pleased to support this historic legislation that would make Maine the third state to tax and regulate the adult use of marijuana. This is common sense legislation that would put Maine

Article source:

Maine Lawmaker Proposes Legalizing Industrial Hemp

March 28th, 2013

Cindy Brown arrived at the legislative hearing with bag full of hemp products. She had hemp oil, hemp fabric, hemp soap, all kinds of hemp-like things. She told members of the Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation Committee that Maine could open up a whole new industry, if the state could free itself from the federal regulations that discourage industrial hemp cultivation.

“We don’t have to do it that way,” Brown said. “We are a free souvereign people. I believe that. I was raised an American, United State of – and I believe these things.”

So does state Rep. Lance Harvell, a Farmington Republican. Harvell is sponsoring a bill that would do away with a regulation that requires applicants for an initial industrial hemp license to submit fingerprints to the state. It would also repeal a state provision that requires federal approval for licenses to grow industrial hemp.

Harvell says there are thousands of acres in Maine that could be used to grow hemp and create new opportunities to manufacture products from the weed. The lawmaker says it’s one thing to lose U.S. manufacturing jobs to world markets because of cheap foreign labor, but it’s another to perpetuate outdated policies on hemp prohibition.

“But when you actually are putting in place a prohibition that is not even allowing your farmers to grow a product that has a variety of uses in the modern world – to me that’s a bit of a travesty,” Harvell said.

Proponents of Harvell’s bill say hemp was once

Article source:

Workers Blow Whistle on Pesticide Use at Thomaston Marijuana Dispensary …

March 28th, 2013


We are sorry to inform you that you have been temporarily blocked from this website.

Your IP Address or perhaps someone from the same geographical area as you has been tracked
visiting one or more websites and requesting large amounts of content in a short amount of time.
This has caused your IP Address to be flagged as a possible bot, spider, crawler, spyware, or some other malware.
In general, we do not allow bots, spiders, or crawlers to access our websites.

This is not meant to accuse you of anything.
If you are a legitimate user and feel that you have reached this page in error, please complete the form below.
Our staff will review the information that you provide and determine what options are available.

You are browsing this site with:

Your IP address is:


Referring URL:


Article source:

Investigation Finds Maine Marijuana Dispensary Used Pesticides and Violated …

March 28th, 2013

Investigation Finds Maine Marijuana Dispensary Used Pesticides and Violated Several Medical Marijuana Rules

One of Maine’s operators of a medical marijuana dispensary is being tightly monitored now after a regulatory board found the dispensary violated several state rules, including the use of pesticides in its growing operation.

Wellness Connection of Maine, which operates four of Maine’s eight state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, was subjected to an investigation by the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services (DLRS). It was later found to have violated more than 20 state rules governing medical marijuana, such as the use of pesticides in the growing of medical marijuana, lack of proper security, and the production and sale of an illegal form of marijuana.

DLRS Director Kenneth Albert told The Daily Chronicle that the investigation of the Wellness Connection began at the Auburn grow site, but was extended to all of the company’s facilities. He said DLRS identified nine pesticides on the marijuana used in tinctures, baker’s mix and all strains dispensed by the Wellness Connection.

“The use of pesticides on medical marijuana is not allowed by state law, as the harmful effect of pesticides when ignited and inhaled is not imminently known,” Albert explained.

Additionally, Wellness Connection was selling keif — resin crystals of cannabis, which may accumulate in containers or be sifted from loose dry cannabis buds — which

Article source:

Discovery of Pesticides in Medical Marijuana has Maine Patients Concerned

March 27th, 2013

State regulators say they found nine pesticides used on medical marijuana plants, and in tinctures and bakers mix sold at Wellness Connection’s dispensaries in Portland, Hallowell, Brewer and Thomaston. There were also problems with lax security and the sale of an illegal product traced back to a large, indoor grow facility in Auburn.

As part of a consent agreement with the state, Wellness Connection is expected to end the practices and notify its 2,500 patients.

So far, Brian Lee says he only knows what he’s read in the papers. He’s received no communication. And he says, as a patient of Wellness Connection’s, he’s angry that the dispensary operator has been allowed to remain in business.

“When we put poison on things that you ingest, it’s foolishness, and they’re slapping us all right in the face and they think we’re ignorant,” he says.

Lee says he got a prescription for medical marijuana after a motorcycle accident that left him with chronic pain. He’s been getting his medicine at Wellness Connection’s Portland dispensary. But he says that will soon come to an end.

“Well, I won’t be going to them,” he says. “If I decide to continue with alternative medicine, I’ll look to somebody else who’s doing it more naturally and not with pesticides. I don’t want poison in my medicine, thank you very much.”

Brian Lee is not the only one reconsidering where he gets his medical marijuana, says Paul McCarrier, a

Article source: