AUGUSTA – Today, the state’s cannabis regulators at the Office of Marijuana Policy announced intentions to bring Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program regulations into congruence with current state law. OMP has filed a formal “proposed rule” with the Secretary of State and will now conduct a public hearing and a written public comment period per the Maine Administrative Procedures Act, the standard process for implementing laws administered by a state agency.
“We received more than 1,500 comments from the public prior to drafting the proposed rule, many of which were incorporated, and we look forward to engaging with interested members of the public once again during this process,” said Erik Gundersen, Director of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy. “Our rulemaking efforts are focused on protecting patients, public health and community safety while bringing the medical program’s rules into alignment with current law. The proposed rules are firmly rooted in the foundational legislation, as well as national best practices, and are informed by two years of OMP fieldwork and stakeholder engagement with public health experts, public safety officials, municipal leaders and a broad representation of industry members.”
The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act has been amended by at least eight separate pieces of major legislation since the rules were last revised in February 2018. Aligning MMMP administrative regulations to reflect current law is good governance that ensures that program registrants, municipalities, and public health and safety officials have a shared understanding of current program requirements.
The public hearing, scheduled for Monday, March 22, 2021, will serve as the second opportunity for individuals to provide feedback to OMP on revisions to the medical rule. In January, the Office released a preliminary draft of the rule, which elicited feedback from more than 1,000 stakeholders that OMP reviewed and considered to create the current version of the proposed rule.
Due to COVID-19, the public hearing will be hosted via Zoom. The hearing will begin at 9:00AM EDT and conclude when interested members of the public complete their testimony. Interested parties must pre-register in advance of the public hearing beginning and may do so via: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use/rules-statutes/rulemaking. Registration will close 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the hearing. Those interested in watching the public hearing but not participating in the proceedings may do so without registering via OMP’s YouTube Channel.
In addition to the public hearing, the Office will begin accepting written public comments from now until 5:00PM EDT on Thursday, April 1, 2021. More information on the proposed rule and the public comment period is available on the OMP website.
Once the public comment period concludes, regulators will review and consider all feedback received, make appropriate revisions to the proposed rule, and complete final adoption.