The head of the state department that oversees Maine’s medical marijuana program believes it lacks sufficient oversight, administrative authority and resources.
Ricker Hamilton, who worked at the Department of Health and Human Services for decades before being sworn in to lead it in November, spelled out his concerns in a letter this week to the Legislature, which is considering seven different medical marijuana bills this session. The bills cover a wide spectrum of possible reforms, from a bill that would allow cannabis to be used to treat opioid addiction to temporarily banning the awarding of any more caregiver licenses.
“While the bills before you are well intentioned, they just begin to scratch the surface of needed reform in the program,” Hamilton wrote.
Hamilton urged the committee to consider the medical program in concert with the recreational program that another legislative committee is trying to launch. He said that the creation of a separate adult-use program, with its own tax rate and a different regulatory structure, will only exacerbate the problems in the medical program. He has called on the health