MAINE CANNABIS PROGRAM

MAINE
Licenses Available

STATE STATUS

The state of Maine legalized both adult-use and medical cannabis. Persons 21 years and older may purchase and possess cannabis, while registered patients have access to medical cannabis. Access to cannabis is through state licensed businesses that are allowed to grow, manufacture and sell cannabis. Learn more about how to get a Maine marijuana business license or schedule a complimentary consultation with our licensing expert, below.

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NUMBER OF MAINE MARIJUANA BUSINESS LICENSES AVAILABLE

While Maine is no longer awarding medical marijuana business licenses, the state continues to license business licenses for the adult-use market. This means, currently, only adult-use marijuana business licenses are available, more information on each type of license outlined below.

Maine Medical Marijuana Business Licenses

Maine Medical Cannabis Dispensary License: this is 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. There is a limit of 8 medical marijuana business licenses awarded in Maine. The state is no longer accepting applications for additional medical marijuana businesses.

Maine Recreational Marijuana Business Licenses

The number of marijuana business licenses available are subject to each local municipality (city, township, borough, county) and its local ordinances. Local governments will be allowed to regulate the number and types of licenses allowed to operate within their jurisdiction. Types of licenses allowed include the following.

Maine Adult-Use 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 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.

HOW TO START A MARIJUANA BUSINESS IN MAINE

To obtain a marijuana business license in Maine, you will be required to submit an application. As part of the application, you will be required to submit marijuana business plans such as the following:

  • Business Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Cultivation, Production, and/or Dispensing Plan
  • Inventory Control Plan
  • Security Plan
  • Recordkeeping Plan
  • Patient/Customer Education Plan
  • Community Benefits Plan

 

Schedule for a complimentary 15-min consult with our licensing/application expert to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.


ENHANCED OVERVIEW OF MARIJUANA IN MAINE

Medical Marijuana in Maine

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.

Recreational Marijuana in Maine

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 retails 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. The regulatory rules for licensing, inspection, taxes, and other details are now in the drafting process by the state.

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 previous provisionally adopted rules in Maine’s adult use marijuana laws. The corrected rules make the following changes from the previous adopted rules:

  • Eliminates wording that may have limited out-of-state ownership of companies involved in the recreational marijuana market
  • The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services is given authority to determine if a conditionally licensed applicant continues to meet the requirements for conditional licensure. If it is determined that the licensee no longer meets the requirements, the applicant may be refused an active license.
  • The Maine Food Law is corrected so foods containing marijuana are not considered adulterated if they are prepared in a licensed food establishment from a licensed adult-use marijuana products manufacturing facility
  • On September 18th, 2019, the new law went into effect.

On November 18th, 2019, testing lab applications will start being reviewed by The Office of Marijuana Policy and applications will start being accepted for cultivation, manufacturing, and retail licenses on December 5, 2019. The first active adult use establishment licenses — including the first cultivation licenses — were issued on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, adult-use sales anticipate to happen soon.

MAINE MARIJUANA TIMELINE

November 1999 – Maine legalized medical marijuana.

November 2016 – Voters approved Question 1, legalizing recreational marijuana.

January 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.

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- JonathanOwner, Firefly Dispensaries in Pennsylvania.

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-Kristina BeglarianArizona Vertically Integrated Facility Owner