AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Today members of the Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee heard from a key player who help set up the Colorado Rules.

Andrew Freedman was the state’s marijuana czar after voters approved recreational use in 2012. 

As they get ready to craft the rules for legal marijuana here, they learned what worked well and not so well in Colorado. Freedman told the committee the three biggest challenges for his state have been banking, pesticides and setting the amount that individuals can grow themselves.

The former Colorado marijuana czar spent about an hour going over data gathered since recreational use of the drug became legal in his state. Some key findings include, marijuana use by youth and adults did not increase with legalization.

“We did see the public health surveys as good news, the initial public health surveys. Our expectations were, we worried we were going to see massive increases. We’ve seen nothing of statistical significance yet”, he said.

On the negative side, hospital emergency room visits have increased, due mainly to people underestimating the potency of edibles.

“We do see challenges. We see tourists using edibles and showing up in hospitals rooms”, he said.

Freedman says his state allowed individuals to grow too much of their own, which eventually made it to other states where it was sold illegally. A good lesson to learn for this committee.   

“Which is definitely what we don’t want to be doing for safety reasons, health reasons. I think we can find that right balance”, said House Chair Teresa Pierce (D) Falmouth.