Medical marijuana caregivers to raise money for legal fees of Maine man who …

March 18th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

ROCKLAND, Maine — A statewide medical marijuana caregivers association said it will hold a fundraiser at its annual trade show next month to help defray the legal costs for a member who unsuccessfully challenged the right of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to impose fees without legislative approval.

Paul McCarrier, the legislative liaison for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, said that in addition to Justice Andrew Horton siding last week with DHHS on its authority to impose fees, the state judge also ordered John Stewart of Washington to pay the state agency’s costs to defend itself against his suit.

On Monday, McCarrier criticized the ruling that Horton issued last week in Knox County Superior Court. McCarrier said there was clearly a conflict in state laws.

The Maine Administrative Procedure Act was approved by the Legislature in 1995 and prohibited state agencies from imposing fees unilaterally if there are no fee ranges or caps in any subsequent law. It stipulates that the setting of fees would be a major substantive rule that requires hearings and a legislative vote.

Horton ruled last week that the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, adopted by the Legislature, allows the fees to be set as routine technical rules, which does not require a more formal process that includes subsequent votes by the Legislature.

“The intent of the Legislature could not be clearer,” Horton ruled.

The marijuana law did not include ranges of fees or caps, Stewart

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