Maine Cannabis Program Overview

Maine Cannabis Program Overview

Sabrina
MAY 3RD, 2024

Maine Adult-Use Cannabis Program Overview

Question 1 Ballot was approved In November 2016, legalizing the recreational use, taxation, and retail sale of marijuana. The legislature approved a moratorium on January 27th, 2017, to implement parts of the law regarding retail sales and taxation until February 2018 to allow the state more time to resolve issues and submit rules. By January 30th, 2017, residents over 21 years of age could now grow up to six mature plants and possess 2.5 ounces.

The bill to establish a regulated recreational marijuana market in Maine was vetoed by Governor Paul LePage on April 27th, 2018. The Legislature overrode the veto and finalized the bill, LD 1719, to Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana just one week later, on May 2nd, 2018.

P.L. 2019, Ch. 491 was signed into law on June 27, 2019, by Governor Janet Mills to implement a recreational (adult-use) marijuana market. P.L. 2019, Ch. 491 requires several changes to the previously provisionally adopted rules in Maine’s adult-use marijuana laws.

Maine is no longer awarding medical marijuana business licenses; however, the state continues to license business licenses for the adult-use market. Only adult-use marijuana business licenses are available.

 

Maine Adult-Use Marijuana License Information

Marijuana Business Types

The number of marijuana business licenses available are subject to each local municipality (city, township, borough, county) and its local ordinances.

 

Maine Adult-Use Marijuana Cultivation Facility License – the state may issue the following types of cultivation facility licenses:

  • Tier 1 cultivation facility license – The two subcategories of tier 1 cultivation facility license are plant-count-based tier 1 cultivation facility license and plant-canopy-based tier 1 cultivation facility license:
    • Plant-count-based tier 1 cultivation facility license allows cultivation of a specified number (not more than 30) of mature marijuana plants and an unlimited number of immature marijuana plants and seedlings
    • Plant-canopy-based tier 1 cultivation facility license allows cultivation of not more than 500 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants.
  • Tier 2 cultivation facility license – Allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 2,000 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants
  • Tier 3 cultivation facility license – Allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 7,000 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants.
  • Tier 4 cultivation facility license – Allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 20,000 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants, except as approved by the Department pursuant to 28-B MRS§304
  • Nursery cultivation facility license – Allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 1,000 square feet of plant canopy, subject to the requirements and restrictions of 28-B MRS§501(3).

 

Maine Adult-Use Marijuana Products Manufacturing Facility License – a products manufacturing facility license permits the following activities:

  • Purchasing adult use marijuana from licensed cultivation facilities;
  • Purchasing adult use marijuana concentrate from other licensed products manufacturing facilities;
  • Extracting cannabinoids from marijuana or marijuana plants;
  • Preparing, weighing, packaging, labeling and storing inhaled marijuana products, edible marijuana products or tinctures and/or topical marijuana products using marijuana or marijuana concentrate;
  • Collecting samples of marijuana or marijuana products for mandatory testing and delivering those samples to a testing facility;
  • Selling or authorized transport of marijuana concentrate to licensed products manufacturing facilities; and
  • Selling or authorized transport of marijuana products to licensed marijuana stores.

 

Maine Adult-Use Marijuana Store License – a marijuana store license permits the following activities:

  • Purchase adult use marijuana, pre-packaged retail units of marijuana flower and marijuana trim, immature marijuana plants and seedlings from a licensed cultivation facility;
  • Purchase packaged adult use marijuana and adult use marijuana products from a products manufacturing facility;
  • Store adult use marijuana, adult use marijuana products, immature marijuana plants and seedlings;
  • Collect, subject to the requirements and restrictions of 28-B MRS§604-A, samples of marijuana or marijuana products for mandatory testing;
  • Conduct authorized transports of adult use marijuana, adult use marijuana products, immature marijuana plants and seedlings to another licensed marijuana store or licensed testing facility;
  • Collecting samples of marijuana or marijuana products for mandatory testing and delivering those samples to a testing facility;
  • Sell adult use marijuana, adult use marijuana products, immature marijuana plants and seedlings to consumers;
  • Sell consumable products not containing marijuana, including, but not limited to: soft drinks, candies and baked goods.

 

Maine Medical Marijuana Program Overview

 

On November 2nd, 1999, Maine legalized medical marijuana with majority Vote on Ballot Question 2. Improvements to the law were made in 2009 that allowed for a state dispensary system. The state’s medical marijuana program is regulated by The Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Eight (8) licenses were awarded in 2010, out of the allowed 8 non-for-profit state-licensed dispensaries.

Maine Medical Marijuana License Information

 

Maine Medical Marijuana Business Licenses – a vertically integrated license, meaning a licensee can possess, manufacture, cultivate, deliver, transport, sell and dispense marijuana to qualifying patients with a valid medical marijuana card.

The state is no longer accepting applications for additional medical marijuana businesses.

Program Timeline

  • 1999 – Maine legalized medical marijuana.
  • 2016 – Voters approved Question 1, legalizing recreational marijuana.
  • 2017 – The state placed a moratorium (temporary hold) on implementing regulations for retail sales and taxation until February 2018.
  • April 2019 – Governor Paul LePage vetoed a bill to establish a regulated recreational marijuana program.
  • May 2019 – The Legislature overrode the veto and put the final stamp on the bill, LD 1719.
  • December 2019 – State began accepting applications for adult-use cultivation, manufacturing and retail licenses.
  • September 2020 – State licensed first adult-use cultivation license.

Are you interested in obtaining a cannabis business license in Maine? Call us to speak with an industry expert at 602-290-9424.

Need help developing an effective business plan? Shop our templates today!

 

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