MAINE: The Marijuana Policy Bureau today released preliminary draft rulings designed to bring state regulations governing the medical marijuana program into line with state law. The creation of administrative regulations is a standard process within the government and in this case is required due to significant changes made to state law since the regulations were last revised in February 2018, prior to the creation of the OMP.
In addition to the thematic reorganization to better reflect the structure of the Maine Medical Marijuana Program, one of the most notable changes in the draft is the introduction of a process by which medical marijuana facilities will be regulated at the local level prior to state review, as it is now required by law. In addition, the draft regulation includes inventory tracking provisions to improve accountability and transparency, and to set packaging and labeling requirements that prioritize patient protection.
“These draft regulations are not only more user-friendly, but are also intended to take into account changes in state law over the past two years. This draft framework will continue to ensure our regulatory priorities for safety, accountability and transparency. ” said OMP director Erik Gundersen. “With relationships with local communities, industry and other stakeholders at the heart of everything we do, we look forward to engaging with the public throughout the regulatory process.”
Current plans are for OMP to have both an informal and formal public comment phase when it is considering and developing revisions to the revised medical rule. This approach is based on the development of the rules of the Adult Use Program by OMP. This experience enabled the Office to receive critical feedback and ultimately propose a better rule when starting the formal regulatory process set out in the Maine Administrative Procedures Act.
A copy of the preliminary draft regulation is currently available on the OMP website: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use/rules-statutes/rulemaking/draft-rules. Parties wishing to provide feedback in response to the preliminary draft regulation can do so on the following page: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use/rules-statutes/rulemaking/feedback.
In accordance with the state’s standard rule-setting process, the preliminary draft will move into a proposed rule in the coming weeks and OMP will begin the public hearing and public comment phase required by law. A final draft of the proposed rule will be presented at least 20 days before the date of a scheduled public hearing. Written public comments are allowed for at least 10 days after the public hearing.
After the public comment deadline has expired, OMP will review and review any feedback received, make appropriate changes to the proposed rule, and finalize the final adoption.