Pot grower Wellness Connection fined $18000 for using pesticides

September 10th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

September 6

Pot grower Wellness Connection fined $18,000 for using pesticides

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA — The operator of four of Maine’s eight medical marijuana dispensaries was fined $18,000 on Friday for using pesticides on plants in violation of state law and program rules.

Becky Dekeuster

Contributed photo

In March, a state investigation of Wellness Connection of Maine, with dispensaries in Hallowell, Portland, Thomaston and Brewer, found nine pesticides at the company’s cultivation facility in Auburn and other facilities, finding 20 violations in all between May 2012 and March 2013.

The $18,000 penalty comes from the Maine Board of Pesticides Control for unlawful use of pesticides on marijuana. It has been negotiated over the past few months, but the board formally approved of the penalty on Friday, according to Henry Jennings, the board’s executive director.

On Thursday, Wellness Connection officials said they have already paid the fine in full.

“We’ve now revamped our operations,” said Patricia Rosi-Santucci, Wellness Connection’s chief operating officer. “Now, this is a thing of the past and we’re focused on the future.”

After requesting an analysis from the pesticide board, the Portland Press Herald reported that five of the nine pesticides the group was cited for using contain active ingredients that are safe for many uses and federally approved for use on tobacco. At the time, Wellness Connection served 2,400 patients.

In a summary of the settlement with Wellness Connection, the pesticides board says the

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