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September 13, 2018

Maine to hire consultant on recreational pot regs

A few months after expanding access to marijuana for medical use and legalizing the drug for adult recreational use, Maine is searching for a consultant to help create regulations to implement the new laws.

The state's Department of Administrative and Financial Services on Sept. 7 issued a request for proposals to develop rules related to the Marijuana Legalization Act, which became law in May over a veto by Gov. Paul LePage.

The department has set a deadline of April 30, 2019, to develop major rules about seller licensing, background checks, fees, product testing, security and more.

Other rules are necessary as a result of changes, approved in July, to Maine's medical marijuana use law. The RFP doesn't specify the nature of the rules. The new medical-use law allows patients to access pot for medically beneficial reasons when certified by a physician, increases the number of dispensary licenses from eight to 14, and permits caregivers to do business in the recreational market.

Proposals for the consulting work will be scored on criteria including the bidder's experience and qualifications, planned services, costs and expected impact on the Maine economy.

The department has not said when it will select a consultant. Responses to the RFP are due by Nov. 1.

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