Recreational marijuana sales begin in Maine on Oct. 9. The Press Herald’s cannabis reporter, Penelope Overton, leads a discussion on what to expect.

On the panel:

Erik Gundersen, Executive Director of Maine Office of Marijuana Policy

Erik Gundersen is the director of the newly created Maine Office of Marijuana Policy. Appointed in 2019, the Bangor native oversees the office responsible for all aspects of licensing, regulation and oversight of the state’s medical and adult-use marijuana programs. Before his appointment, he served as policy advisor to Speaker of the House Sarah Gideon. The University of Maine graduate now lives in Portland with his wife and daughter.


Shawn Collins, Executive Director of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

Shawn Collins is the executive director of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Appointed in 2017, the Webster native has overseen the 2018 rollout of the Massachusetts adult-use market, which is nearing the $1 billion sales milestone, and the state’s eight-year-old medical market, too. He previously served as assistant treasurer and policy and legislative affairs director to the state treasurer. He is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School.


Cynthia Franklin, former director of Alaska’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office

Cynthia “Cindy” Franklin served as director of Alaska’s marijuana regulatory agency from 2014 through 2017. She oversaw the rollout of the adult-use market there, from a narrowly approved legalization ballot measure in 2014 through the opening of the state’s first retail stores in 2016. The former prosecutor is now in private practice in Anchorage, representing marijuana industry clients. She is a Texas native and graduate of Baylor Law School.


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