An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Maine.
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 18, 2020
Maine voters had approved the recreational use, retail sale, and taxation of marijuana in November 2016 and as per the Maine Legalization Act, both Recreational and Medical marijuana dispensaries are open for business in Maine. Though adult-use marijuana was legalized in 2016, Maine did not establish regulations for commercial sales until 2019, when Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 719 to approve a ruleset.
OMP is currently engaged in licensing adult-use marijuana establishments through the process required by the MLA and program rule. The first active adult use establishment licenses were issued on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Although the opening of cannabis stores was delayed due to COVID-19, sales finally began as of October 9, 2020. This page is informational only and should not be considered legal advice.
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An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Maine.
Maine residents who are at least 21 years of age or older and have a valid government-issued id are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of cannabis or 2.5 ounces of a combination of cannabis and concentrate that includes no more than 5 grams of concentrate.
Medical patients have a 2.5-ounce purchase limit as well.
To participate in the Maine Medical Marijuana program, qualifying patients must obtain authorization from their doctor or nurse practitioner. The authorization certificate and state-issued ID are the only things a patient needs to purchase marijuana from a Maine dispensary. Patients can register and obtain a registry card (Maine Medical Marijuana card)if they choose to.
There is no list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana applicants. A medical practitioner can recommend marijuana for any medical condition they believe may be alleviated by marijuana.
Yes, adults are allowed to lawfully possess and cultivate up to three mature marijuana plants, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings. Plants must be tagged with the cultivator’s name, driver’s license or ID number, and if the plants are not on land owned by the cultivator, the name of the property owner.
Consuming cannabis on public or federal land is strictly prohibited and illegal in Maine. Recreational marijuana may only be consumed on private property, out of public view.
Adults 21 years of age or older who do choose to consume marijuana in public and are found guilty of perpetrating this civil violation are subject to a fine up to $100.
Everything you need to know about opening a retail cannabis location in Maine.
Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services is in charge of licensing and regulating all marijuana businesses, including cannabis retail stores. It must consult with the Department of Public Safety regarding any rules concerning public safety or law enforcement matters.
All applicants for cannabis retail store licenses must
Until January 1, 2022, applicants may not have an interest or license for more than four marijuana stores.
The State of Maine follows a three-step process for awarding adult-use marijuana licenses: 1.) Conditional Licensure, 2.) Local Authorization, and 3.) Active Licensure.
Step One: Conditional Licensure Firstly, all applicants must first submit to a criminal history records check, and each applicant for a license will be required to obtain an OMP-issued Individual Identification Card (IIC). Within 90 days of you having submitted all application forms and required attachments, the Office of Marijuana Policy will determine and vet your application and will either deny the license or issue a non-renewable conditional license valid for one year.
Step Two: Local Authorization For a conditional license holder to be eligible for an active license, they must seek local authorization at the municipality they are operating in. The municipality will have 90 days to determine the request and then send an approved local authorization form directly to the OMP. Within 10 days of receiving an approved local authorization form, the OMP will request supplemental information and updated documents from the applicant.
Step Three: Active Licensure Supplemental information required for the issuance of an active license includes evidence of compliance with all electrical and permitting requirements and appropriate tax information and documents. Upon satisfaction that all requirements have been met, OMP will invoice the applicant for the licensing fee. Once payment is received, OMP will issue an active license that is valid for one year.
There are two fees associated with the adult-use marijuana retail license in Maine. The first is an application fee of $250, which must be submitted before the application can be processed. Once approved for a license, the annual licensure fee for an adult-use marijuana retailer can be no more than $2500, depending on your municipality.
The department may increase these amounts if the department approves a larger canopy count. All fees and fines levied will be placed in the Adult Use Marijuana Regulatory Coordination Fund and used to adopt rules and to license and regulate adult-use marijuana establishments.
Learn how to remain compliant with Maine’s cannabis retail laws.
Cannabis establishments can only operate in municipalities that have enacted an ordinance allowing that type of marijuana business. Marijuana establishments may not operate in towns, plantations, and unincorporated areas unless the town or county commissioners allow that type of marijuana establishment.
Cannabis establishments may not be located within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing school unless the municipality has elected to implement a smaller buffer zone, which must be at least 500 feet.
Licensed adult-use marijuana retailers may sell cannabis to adults aged 21 and older, with a valid government-issued identification card, and employees are required to check purchasers’ IDs before making the sale.
Marijuana stores may sell marijuana, marijuana products, seedlings and immature marijuana plants, marijuana paraphernalia, and non-marijuana products (such as apparel).
Stores may not sell to a person who is visibly intoxicated; sell or give away products with tobacco and alcohol that do not include cannabis; give away adult-use marijuana products or plants; sell or give away mature marijuana plants, or sell an amount of marijuana that exceeds that person’s limit.
Marijuana stores can not operate as a medical marijuana dispensary or primary caregiver at the same location as the adult-use marijuana store.
At the point of sale, a 10% sales tax is imposed.
No, marijuana stores can not use a delivery service, vending machine, drive-through window, or an internet-based sales platform. sell to a person who is visibly intoxicated; sell or give away products with tobacco and alcohol that do not include cannabis; give away adult-use marijuana products or plants; sell or give away mature marijuana plants, or sell an amount of marijuana that exceeds that person’s limit.
Maine adult-use cannabis retailers must pack and label marijuana and marijuana products in a way
Signs, advertising, and marketing:
Maine adult-use cannabis retailers must:
Good To Know Maine' is an educational campaign developed by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help Mainers safely, legally and responsibly navigate the state's legal marijuana landscape.
Every regulated cannabis market has its own tracking and reporting requirements. Find here how Maine monitors commercial cannabis activity.
Under the Marijuana Legalization Act, Maine requires you to use Metrc to track and monitor adult-use marijuana and marijuana products from the immature marijuana plant to the point of retail sale. Licensees may choose to purchase optional third-party inventory control and tracking systems such as Cova’s Cannabis Dispensary POS Software, which is capable of interlinking with the statewide monitoring system to track:
Maine had initially issued a contract to Bio-Track in 2019 but terminated the agreement in late 2019, and in early 2020, the Office of Marijuana Policy announced the execution of a six-year contract for marijuana track and trace services with Metrc LLC, which integrates perfectly with Cova POS system.
Yes. Cova's Cannabis Dispensary POS Software and inventory management system includes all the features needed to keep cannabis retailers compliant, including:
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