A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the state is investigating one of the medical marijuana facilities affiliated with the Thomaston dispensary, but will not say what the investigation concerns.

A statement the company made on Facebook also discusses its pest control procedures.

John Martins, a state spokesperson, confirmed March 11 that the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services is investigating the marijuana-cultivating operation in Auburn run by Wellness Connection of Maine.

Wellness Connection also operates the dispensary at 149 New County Road (Route 1) in Thomaston.

The investigation began sometime last week.

"We were inspected by our state regulators, and do not have the report back yet," Wellness Connection Executive Director Becky DeKeuster said in an email March 11. "Inspections are standard in any highly regulated business such as ours, and this is a step toward normalized business operations in an industry that has been largely self-regulated until recently. Because this is a new industry in Maine, it is perhaps natural that there is interest, but we need to prioritize serving our patients at this time. We will not have any further comment until after we have reviewed the state's findings and have met with them to discuss."

On March 6, Wellness Connection issued a statement on its Facebook page saying it was "experiencing system-wide technical challenges." As a result, the dispensaries would be closed for a time in Portland, Thomaston, Brewer and Hallowell. Thomaston was set to reopen March 11, at 8 a.m.

It issued a longer statement March 9:

"As many of you have read, last week a WCM production facility was inspected by the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services … the regulatory agency with oversight over our operation.

"The inspectors conducted a thorough review of all aspects of our facility, including our inventory controls, security, record-keeping and pest control procedures, …and took live and dried samples for testing at a state laboratory. While the inspection did briefly interrupt our operations, we are pleased to work with the state as they implement the strict regulatory oversight that Maine’s medical marijuana statute requires of dispensaries. Inspections are not uncommon in industries as closely monitored as ours, and we cooperated fully with regulators during the inspection.

It goes on to talk about pest control procedures.

"…Because cannabis is not recognized as medicine by our federal government, there are currently no federally approved fungicides or pesticides that can be used on cannabis at this time. At this time, we are using only mechanical and environmental methods of contaminant abatement."

In a Feb. 28 letter to members, DeKeuster wrote: "…This cannabis has been subject to various trial methods of pest and mold control up to February 13, 2013, which have been approved for edible crops, and were not used in the final week of plant flowering. We are in the process of collaborating with the State of Maine to test our medicine, and will report on results as they become available."

On Facebook, Wellness Connection posted: "We have and will continue to fully comply with the extensive regulations that govern our operation."

Martins said DHHS did not force the company to close its dispensaries during the investigation. He said that was a decision the company made for itself.

Daniel Dunkle can be reached at ddunkle@courierpublicationsllc.com. Follow him on twitter at @DanDunkle.