State officials open investigation of medical marijuana supplier

March 9th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Posted: March 8
Updated: Today at 12:23 AM

State officials open investigation of medical marijuana supplier

By Michael Shepherd
State House Bureau

AUGUSTA — The cultivation center that supplies Maine’s largest operator of medical marijuana dispensaries is under investigation by state officials, but the state won’t say why.

The center in Auburn that grows marijuana for Wellness Connection of Maine’s four dispensaries is being investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services‘ Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, said DHHS spokesman John Martins.

Martins said in an email Friday that “there have been no investigations of this type previously” in Maine’s medical marijuana business.

Licensed dispensaries must abide by the state’s cultivation rules. For example, pesticides cannot be used and dispensaries are limited to six mature plants for each patient.

Citing “an open and active investigation” that began this week in Auburn, Martins said he couldn’t comment further on the matter, including whether law enforcement is involved.

Auburn police Lt. Tim Cougle said his department’s presence was requested by state officials during the investigation, but the department itself isn’t investigating.

Becky DeKeuster, Wellness Connection’s executive director, described the action by the DHHS as “a comprehensive regulatory inspection” of the cultivation center.

When asked if she knew of any potential violations of cultivation rules, she said, “No. We haven’t received their reports.”

Wellness Connection of Maine opened a dispensary in Thomaston in September 2011,

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