Maine’s medical marijuana program has new manager

January 31st, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

1:17 PM

Maine’s medical marijuana program has new manager

By Eric Russell
Staff Writer

Maine’s medical marijuana program, which has undergone numerous changes in recent years and could see more during the legislative session, has a new manager.

Marietta D’Agostino was hired to fill the position left vacant last November when John Thiele stepped down. She began work last week.

D’Agostino has spent her career mostly in social services, including stints as a child protective caseworker, a juvenile corrections officer and a jail captain at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, according to information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.

John Martins, a spokesman for DHHS, said D’Agostino was not available for an interview on Thursday.

Thiele resigned in early November but then asked to be reinstated. The department declined to take him back.

Medical marijuana advocates had expressed concern over Thiele’s sudden dismissal because they had a good working relationship with him. Paul McCarrier, legislative liaison with the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, said representatives of his group met earlier this week with D’Agostino and Kenneth Albert, who directs DHHS’ office of licensing and regulatory services.

“It was a great meeting. We were impressed with how willing they are to hear our concerns and help engineer a system that best serves patients,” McCarrier said Thursday.

Maine voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes through a citizens initiative back in 1999, but the program has undergone a significant expansion in the past few years.

In 2009, voters overwhelmingly passed a law

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