An assistant attorney general and a longtime member of the state’s former alcohol enforcement bureau will join the state’s new Marijuana Advisory Commission.

Assistant Attorney General John Risler of Rockland was named to the commission by outgoing Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport. Risler has been a lawyer for 10 years and has handled a number of high-profile cases, including prosecution of a group of tattoo terrorists when he was the assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and the controversial case against the former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Hatch for juvenile sexual assault.

Thibodeau also named Frank Lyons, a 23-year veteran in the former Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement, to the commission. Upon his retirement from the bureau, Lyons started his own consulting firm, B.C. Consultants, to provide state-certified server training for businesses that sell alcohol to the public, teaching people how to recognize underage or intoxicated consumers and forged identification cards or papers.

Thibodeau also named Attorney Dan Walker of Preti Flaherty in Portland, a lobbyist for the Wellness Connection, to a seat. He left the two Senate representatives that will be named to the commission open to be filled by his successor, Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash. A staff member for Jackson said he has yet to appoint the two legislative seats, but that he expects to do so soon.

The 15-member panel was created to review state recreational and medical marijuana laws and recommend changes needed to preserve the public’s health and safety, preserve the intent of the 2016 citizen initiative that legalized adult-use marijuana, and integrate the state’s adult-use and medical cannabis laws, rules and programs. The commission will make recommendations to the Legislature, but will have no direct regulatory power.

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