The state has voided a contract won by a California consultant to propose rules and procedures for deploying the Maine's legalized adult-use marijuana marketplace. The move came after a losing bidder with local ties appealed the award, saying the state failed to give adequate weight to that Maine connection.
This development has raised concerns that the already much-delayed rollout of the state's recreational pot system would slow even more. But Dick Thompson, Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Administration and Finance, says his agency is now drafting a revised request for proposals with the goal of completing the market regulations sooner than the original contract required.
"The administration understands that people are frustrated with the years of delay under the previous administration,” Thompson says. “We're not delaying, we are moving steadfastly and as quickly as we can."
Thompson says that new evaluation criteria will include the vendor's ability to deliver the recommendations quickly. The new RFP could be issued by Monday. Thompson says the state aims to get Maine's marijuana marketplace up and running this year.