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Consultant: Maine pot rules must protect kids, problem users

May 15, 2019
In this Nov. 5, 2018, file photo, a young marijuana plant starts showing signs of flowering in a home garden in Los Angeles. A consultant hired to analyze Maine's proposed legal marijuana laws says the state should be careful to make sure the rules shrink the black market for the drug and provide help for people with substance use disorder. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A consultant hired to analyze Maine’s proposed legal marijuana laws says the state should be careful to make sure the rules shrink the black market for the drug and provide help for people with substance use disorder.

Maine hired BOTEC Analysis of Los Angeles to provide feedback about the state’s proposed pot rules . The firm lost out on a bid for a marijuana consulting contract with Maine, and the state agreed to pay it $10,000 to stop an appeal and perform an analysis of the rules.

BOTEC has released its review of the draft rules.

BOTEC chairman Mark Kleiman says the review isn’t intended as an endorsement or disapproval of the proposal. The review identifies numerous areas in which BOTEC believes Maine should exercise caution, such as minimizing underage use.