Ex-head of Maine marijuana program plans appeal

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The former chief of Maine's medical marijuana program says he is appealing his dismissal.

John Thiele says he received a letter from the state Department of Health and Human Services human resources office last month saying he was fired as of Oct. 19.

Thiele was head of the department's Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services.

While confirming his dismissal, Thiele refused to disclose to the Bangor Daily News (http://bit.ly/SYznrW ) the reason, citing the pending appeal.

Paul McCarrier, legislative liaison for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, says he fears the program would not function as well in Thiele's absence.

Department officials have not commented.

Mainer voters legalized marijuana for medical uses in 1999. In 2009, they approved a law creating a statewide network of marijuana dispensaries.

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Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com

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