State investigates Auburn medical marijuana cultivation facility

March 11th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

AUBURN, Maine — The state is continuing its investigation of a medical marijuana cultivation operation in Auburn.

The facility is owned by Wellness Connection of Maine and is at 33 Omni Circle, near the Lewiston-Auburn Municipal Airport. Wellness Connection owns four of the eight medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine, making it the largest distributor in the state. Workers at the Omni Circle location cultivated marijuana but did not dispense it to patients.

Wellness Connection’s four dispensaries are in Portland, Hallowell, Brewer and Thomaston. It does not own Remedy Compassion Center, a medical marijuana dispensary on Center Street in Auburn.

DHHS spokesman John Martins confirmed the investigation which began last week, but declined to say more because the investigation is ongoing. It is unclear why the department, which licenses and oversees medical marijuana operations, is looking into the facility.

Maine’s medical marijuana regulations fill more than 70 pages and include several stipulations for cultivators, including that they cannot use pesticides, they must maintain strict security measures and only those authorized by law may be allowed to enter the facility.

Becky DeKeuster, executive director of Wellness Connection, declined to say much about the investigation until the state releases its findings.

“Inspections are standard in any highly regulated business such as ours, and this is a step toward normalized business operations in an industry that has been largely self-regulated until recently,” she wrote in an email.

Maine voters legalized medical marijuana in 1999 and approved a law creating marijuana dispensaries in 2009. Martins

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