Panel that will advise Maine lawmakers on marijuana laws is taking shape

December 5th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

The first appointments to Maine’s Marijuana Advisory Commission are lobbyists with ties to the state’s largest medical cannabis dispensary and the Yes on One campaign.

The 15-member panel was created to review state recreational and medical marijuana laws and recommend changes needed to preserve the public’s health and safety, preserve the intent of the 2016 citizen initiative that legalized adult-use marijuana, and integrate the state’s adult-use and medical cannabis laws, rules and programs. The commission will make recommendations to the Legislature but hold no direct regulatory power.

“We did a lot of work, but there’s still a lot left to do,” said Rep. Teresa Pierce, D-Falmouth, one of the lawmakers who will serve on the commission. “First of all, I think we need to get the market up and running. Canada is on line. Massachusetts has opened its first couple stores. New Hampshire is thinking about it. It is time for us to implement the will of the people here in Maine.”

Others to be named to the commission include:

Attorney Dan Walker of Preti Flaherty in Portland, a lobbyist for the Wellness Connection, Maine’s biggest medical dispensary, will represent the medical industry.

Attorney Hannah King of Drummond Woodsum in Portland, a lobbyist for Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana, will represent the adult-use industry.

Alysia Melnick, a lawyer who served as the political director of the Yes on One legalization campaign, will hold one of two seats reserved for the public.

Pierce, former co-chairwoman of the Marijuana Legalization

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