Maine MarijuAna Dispensary Laws

Maine Cannabis Dispensary Laws and Regulations for Retailers

Published on 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.

Related resources:

 Oklahoma Dispensary Laws / Washington Dispensary LawsColorado Dispensary Laws / California Dispensary Laws / Missouri Dispensary Laws / Michigan Dispensary LawsIllinois Dispensary Laws / Nevada Dispensary Laws / Montana Dispensary Laws / Alaska Dispensary Laws

Maine Cannabis Laws

An overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in Maine.

Who can purchase cannabis in Maine and what are the limits?

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.

Are there any qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients in Maine?

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.

Is home cultivation allowed in Maine?

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.

Where can marijuana be consumed in Maine?

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.

Retail Cannabis Licensing in Maine

Everything you need to know about opening a retail cannabis location in Maine.

What state agency is in charge of cannabis licensing 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.

Who can apply for a Marijuana business license?

All applicants for cannabis retail store licenses must

  • be Maine residents, if they are natural persons.
  • be at least 21 years of age
  • not have been convicted of a drug offence that carries a maximum penalty of a year or more, unless the person completed their entire sentence at least 10 years prior or the offence was for marijuana-related conduct that has been legalized
  • not be employed by a state agency with a regulatory role
  • not be employed as three-step law enforcement or corrections officer
  • not have had a prior marijuana business license or medical marijuana ID card or license revoked
  • and not owe outstanding court-ordered payments.
  • If ownership is held by a business entity, all directors, managers, and general partners must be residents of Maine, and residents must own a majority of shares.
  • Any applicant that is a business entity must be incorporated in Maine

Is one entity allowed to apply for more than one license?

Until January 1, 2022, applicants may not have an interest or license for more than four marijuana stores.

What is the process for obtaining an adult-use marijuana retail license in Maine?

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.

What costs are associated with applying for an adult-use cannabis retail license in Maine?

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.

Maine Cannabis Retail and Dispensary Establishment Laws

Learn how to remain compliant with Maine’s cannabis retail laws.

Where can a marijuana dispensary or retail establishment be located?

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.

Whom can Maine marijuana retailers sell to?

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.

What products can a Maine marijuana retailer sell?

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.

Can medical marijuana and recreational cannabis be sold in the same dispensary?

Marijuana stores can not operate as a medical marijuana dispensary or primary caregiver at the same location as the adult-use marijuana store.

What taxes are collected on retail cannabis in Maine?

At the point of sale, a 10% sales tax is imposed.

Are delivery and online sales for recreational cannabis products allowed?

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.

What are the packing and labelling requirements for a cannabis retail store in Maine?

Maine adult-use cannabis retailers must pack and label marijuana and marijuana products in a way

  • That doesn’t confuse with a trademarked product
  • That is not designed to appeal particularly to someone under 21
  • That mentions health and safety warning labels, as developed by regulators
  • That hasTHC potency and cannabinoid profile information; information
  • That has instructions on usage
  • That has the license number of the cultivation facility, products manufacturer, and store, along with the batch number.
  • For marijuana-infused products: ingredients, possible allergens, recommended use-by and expiration dates, and a nutritional fact panel.

What are the marketing and advertising restrictions in Maine pertaining to cannabis sales?

Signs, advertising, and marketing:

  • may not be misleading, false, or deceptive
  • may not promote health or physical benefit claims
  • must not have any likelihood of reaching or appealing to persons under 21 years of age
  • Ads on the internet, such as banner ads on mass-market websites, are prohibited
  • Targeted advertisements on location-based devices are prohibited.

What is required of adult-use cannabis retailers in Maine before conducting sales?

Maine adult-use cannabis retailers must:

  • Only sell a product to individuals aged 21 years or older after the product has been tested and bears the required retail label
  • Enter all transactions, current inventory, and other required information into the statewide monitoring system through third-party inventory control and tracking system such as Cova POS
  • Verify customers are 21 years of age or older through a government-issued photo ID
  • Verify that the sale will not exceed the transaction limits

'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.

Cannabis Tracking and Reporting in Maine

Every regulated cannabis market has its own tracking and reporting requirements. Find here how Maine monitors commercial cannabis activity.

What are the tracking, reporting, and inventory control requirements for Maine cannabis retailers?

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:

  • The purchase limits of an individual buying marijuana products
  • All cannabis plants, products, packages, purchase totals, waste, transfers, conversions, sales, and returns
  • Lot and batch information throughout the entire supply chain

What is Maine’s official cannabis monitoring system?

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.

Is Cova compliant with Maine’s cannabis retail reporting requirements?

Yes. Cova's Cannabis Dispensary POS Software and inventory management system includes all the features needed to keep cannabis retailers compliant, including:

  • ID scanner for age and card verification
  • Integrated inventory and sales tracking and reporting
  • Built-in product equivalency conversions and purchase limit enforcement.

Cannabis Advertising & Marketing Laws

What restrictions are there regarding cannabis advertising?

There are specific restrictions depending on the advertising medium that we will address below, but overall there are some common restrictions across the board.

First, no advertisements for anything cannabis-related can be attractive to minors (no cartoon characters or public figures appealing to a younger age group) or promote underage or out-of-state consumption. Second, no product can claim any therapeutic or curative effects. Lastly, any cannabis advertisement must include the following government warnings:

  • "This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming.";

  • "Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.";

  • "There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product."; and

  • "For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.”

What kind of signage are dispensaries allowed to have?

Each licensed retail location can have two signs at their location with their business name or trade name. These signs cannot be larger than 1,600 square feet (measured from the outer frame). No signs can be on the road pointing in the direction of the dispensary, they can only be affixed or hanging from the building or windows of the actual storefront.

What can the signs include on them?

The signs can include the business name, location and identify the nature of the business. It cannot have any photos or depictions of cannabis and it cannot be appealing to minors.

Are cannabis advertisements on billboards allowed?

A cannabis dispensary can advertise on billboards with some restrictions. First, the billboard can only contain the same information as signage on the storefront (i.e., name of business, address and nature of business). It cannot contain any photos or depictions of the cannabis plant (this includes any logo with a cannabis leaf) or appeal to minors. No matter the design, the billboard must say that cannabis can only be purchased and possessed by adults over 21 years old.

Are dispensaries allowed to host giveaways or coupons?

No, dispensaries cannot give away any product or coupons. They can, however, encourage customers to sign up for an email or text list and offer specials that way.

Can a dispensary sell branded merchandise?

No, a dispensary is only allowed to sell legal cannabis products and paraphernalia. But branded merchandise for a dispensary can be sold on their website or through a separate entity.


Can a dispensary advertise in print media?

Yes, a dispensary is allowed to advertise in print publications, but with a few restrictions. The publication cannot target or distribute to an audience out of state or underage. And the content of the advertisement must follow the same rules as billboards and signage (no cannabis depictions or photos, cartoon characters or anything appealing to minors and must include government warnings). Local jurisdictions are able to establish additional advertising rules, so always check for relevant local laws.

What is allowed in terms of online advertising?

A retail cannabis business can have a website, but it cannot appeal to or solicit anyone under the age of 21. You can sell branded non-cannabis merchandise on your website, but all cannabis products must be purchased in store.

Can a dispensary host, attend or sponsor events?

Yes, a dispensary can host or sponsor an event, but only if attendees are over 21 years old. They cannot have product on hand, neither as a free gift or sold.

Where can I find more information about cannabis advertising laws in Washington?

Rules and regulations regarding advertising for Washington cannabis companies are constantly changing. You can view the WSLCB’s Q&A on advertising here.


You definitely need a cannabis-specific POS at your dispensary. Find the most frequently asked tech questions here.

How do I manage state compliance using my point-of-sale?

Cova POS software provides complete seed-to-sale tracking functionality and has a number of built-in features designed to help you automatically comply with the legal regulations in your state/province. For example, the Cova POS system automatically monitors:

  • Purchase Limits – The POS system automatically calculates the correct THC amounts for all products, including concentrates and edibles. By relieving your staff of this complex task, the POS prevents mistakes in calculation and allows your budtenders to focus on customer service—and not on mathematical conversions. The system also enforces purchase limits by alerting staff when a limit has been reached and preventing budtenders from executing a sale that would place you over the legal limit.
  • Hours of Operation – The system can be easily configured to comply with local laws. Once the operational hours are set up, the POS will not allow sales to be executed outside the legal hours of operation, preventing potential violations before they occur.
  • Customer Identification Requirements – Customer IDs are easily scanned and recorded, ensuring your staff double checks IDs and virtually eliminating potential sales to minors or other individuals lacking the requisite documentation.
  • Accurate Real-Time Reporting – Operational visibility is also very important for your team. Cova POS software generates management reports in real time. These reports can be easily distributed across the organization to ensure the correct data is in the hands of the correct personnel.
  • Fully Compliant Product Labelling & Receipts Cova Software enables the complete customization of all printed materials, product labels, and receipts, enabling you to comply with all local regulations related to labeling and packaging quickly and easily.

What happens if my internet connection goes down and my dispensary is slammed with customers?

To ensure that you always maintain an expedient transaction pace and keep lines moving, Cova comes with a built-in offline sales processing mode that enables continuous access to critical functions even when your Wi-Fi or internet connection is unavailable. Once connectivity is restored, all transactions performed in offline mode are synchronized with the state’s reporting system, data is backed up, and reports and inventory records are adjusted accordingly.

How do I make sure I submit timely and accurate taxes each month to the government?

By choosing a POS system with built-in tax reporting functionality, you’ll always know exactly how much tax you need to pay.

Why is it important to have a marijuana-specific POS vs. a retail or pharmacy POS?

There are several reasons why a cannabis-specific POS is ideal for your operation—but the most important one is compliance management. Because traditional retail operations and pharmacies don’t have the same government-mandated compliance requirements, their POS systems aren’t built to manage the complexities involved with track and trace reporting and the other aspects of state compliance.

What happens if the state regulations change? How does Cova stay on top of this?

With the industry still in its infancy, regulations are bound to change. At Cova, our team keeps up with industry-wide and state-specific changes so that our developers can quickly made necessary software updates—and so you never have to worry about remaining compliant with the latest regulations.

Is Cova integrated with Metrc?

Currently, Metrc is not yet live in California since the state's regulations have not yet been officially adopted. However, Cova is working closely with Metrc and has already begun the process of integration, and we plan to be ready when the system goes live.

I have a high-traffic store. Can Cova support me and handle my volume?

Absolutely! Cova software is built on technology that has the ability to dynamically scale with your needs. Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Platform, Azure, automatically detects instances of heavy traffic (such as sales on 4/20) and assigns further servers and computing power as necessary to compensate—allowing you to process sales without interruption, even during the busiest retail periods.

Do I have to follow CA compliance even if it is not in effect? Will the POS still process sales?

Although technically you are not mandated to comply with the new law and regulations until July, it’s a good idea to implement a compliant POS now so you don’t have to switch later.

How do I do the 14-day inventory reconciliation?

With Cova, you can easily stay compliant with California’s inventory reconciliation requirement by printing the Inventory-on-hand report and checking it against your physical inventory. You can make any necessary adjustments directly into the POS, which will then sync the data across your network.

Ron Segev

Cannabis Business Lawyer & Founding Partner, Segev LLP

Legally reviewed by

Ron Segev

Ron Segev is the founding partner of Segev LLP. A practical-minded business lawyer with expertise in the cannabis industry, he represents cultivators, dispensaries, CBD extractors, oil extractors, food processors, media and marketing companies, consultancies, and other businesses in the legal cannabis market. 

View Ron's full bio


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