Join staff reporter Penelope Overton and an experienced panel to discuss one of Maine’s newest growth industries: medical marijuana. We’ll explore what business opportunities exist in this market, how the caregiver network has evolved, proposed state legislation and rules that could transform the industry, and how the launch of Maine’s recreational market could impact patient access, demand and business opportunities.

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and tea will be provided.

On the panel

 

MODERATOR: Penelope Overton, staff reporter

 

Catherine Lewis, chair of the board, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine

Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine is a trade association that works on behalf of the state’s 3,000 caregivers registered to grow and sell marijuana to qualified medical patients. She teaches introductory caregiver classes there. She and her husband, Glenn, are medical marijuana patients and registered caregivers who operate Homegrown Healthcare of Maine LLC, which specializes in using cannabis to help those with cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and pain. She also runs her own small business consulting firm, Business Solutions of Maine LLC, where she provides payroll and insurance services and helps with new business start-ups.

Patricia Rosi, CEO, Wellness Connection of Maine

As the state’s largest group of medical marijuana dispensaries. Wellness Connection operates four state-licensed dispensaries, a commercial kitchen and one cultivation facility. In 2011, Rosi joined the Board of Directors. From there, she advanced to VP of marketing, Chief Operating Officer and finally to her current position as CEO. In five years under her leadership, Wellness has grown to 80 employees, increased its member base to nearly 10,000 and expanded all business lines, now offering over 30 strains of cannabis and 60 value-added products, like tinctures and edibles.

Eric Brakey, Republican senator from District 20 (Auburn, New Gloucester, Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls)

Elected in 2014, Brakey is the Senate chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, which oversees the state’s medical use of marijuana program. Just this month, the committee approved a bill to overhaul the program, including elimination of the list of qualifying conditions, the 5-patient cap on caregivers and the 8-license cap on dispensaries. He was a vocal supporter of Question 1: Regulate and Tax Marijuana. He is running for U.S. Senate.

Peter Mourmouras, founder, The Tax Doctor

A tax and financial consulting practice, The Tax Doctor launched in 1990 in Old Orchard Beach. Mourmouras represents more than 200 cannabis clients in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Mourmouras became a medical marijuana caregiver in 2013. His son, Thomas, is managing partner of Fiscal Therapy Financial, a Portland cannabis business consulting firm, and is seeking a zoning change to open South Portland’s first medical marijuana storefront.