Cannabis in Maine

Denys Svirepchuk
Denys Svirepchuk

Denys Svirepchuk is a dynamic writer at AskGrowers known for his engaging and informative content. His articles often blend entertainment with education, offering readers a unique perspective on the cannabis industry. Denys is particularly adept at crafting content that ranges from fun and quirky ideas, like cannabis-themed gifts to more serious topics such as industry news and legalization updates. He also provides in articles valuable guides and lifehacks for cannabis enthusiasts, delving into the specifics of cannabinoids and other intricate aspects of cannabis. Denys' work is characterized by its diversity making him a versatile and much-appreciated contributor to the cannabis community.

Published

Updated

583
9 min
Find more about Denys
Cannabis in Maine

Both medical and recreational weed is legal in Maine. However, some laws surrounding cannabis in this state are tricky and have required several years to come into effect. This post sorts through the confusion and outlines everything you need to know about the use of cannabis in Maine.

The history of Maine marijuana legalization is quite rocky and impeded by multiple regulatory and legislative twists and turns. Maine became the 5th U.S. state that made medical weed legal. Pot has been allowed here since 1999 for patients suffering from serious diseases, but the state didn’t establish any system for distributing and supplying medical cannabis. Only in 2003, the state adopted the law that allowed the operation of medical hemp dispensaries.

The same story is with recreational marijuana. With a number of compromises and changes, the state legalized hemp for adult use in 2016. The proper regulations for commercial hemp sales were established only in 2019, but the timeline was delayed because of the pandemic. So, the opening of recreational stores took place in October 2020.

However, each municipality reserves the right to ban weed sales by claiming itself “a dry city.” Double-check this information about the city you are traveling to.

Buying Marijuana in Maine?

The possession limit in Maine is 2.5 oz./70 grams of flowers or a combination of products (or 5 grams of concentrated products) for both approved medical patients and legal adults of 21.

The purchasing limit is the same. Registered patients can get cannabis from dispensaries. They are restricted to buying only 5 oz. of pot per month.

Because of the pandemic delays, retail marijuana stores where adults can buy legal weed for recreational use have recently become operational. The first customers who came to the stores were happy to make history in the state. In Maine, there are now only 9 vendors with active licenses. Other retailers are still waiting to get a resolution.


Read Also: How To Buy Recreational Marijuana


In stores, adults are required to present their valid state-issued ID. The dispensaries are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., but check the operation hours before visiting.

Weed shops offer a great variety of strains. They have products for ingesting and vaporizing, as well as a wide assortment of topicals.

Maine permits medical weed delivery, but the delivery service of recreational cannabis is still prohibited.

Marijuana in Maine

Cannabis Consumption in Maine

The rules for Maine pot consumption are simple. Individuals of 21 can use cannabis only in private spaces such as one’s own house, a backyard, or on other private property out of sight of the public. The legislation in Maine bans social consumption clubs throughout the state, so smoking weed in public places is not allowed. The violation of this rule is subject to a $100 fine even for medical patients.

The areas that prohibit marijuana consumption are:

  • schools, preschools, school buses;
  • correctional facilities;
  • parked cars;
  • hotels;
  • beaches;
  • places where smoking tobacco is prohibited;
  • federal lands.

Weed is classified as a Schedule Ι drug (like LSD and heroin), so its use and possession on lands under federal jurisdiction is prosecuted. Don’t bring hemp with you to avoid serious penalties.

Taxes on Marijuana in Maine

Medical marijuana (MMJ) is the third-largest means of revenue in the state. It is subject to an excise tax in the following way:

  • $335 per 1 lb. of weed flower or mature plant;
  • $94 per 1 lb. of weed trim;
  • $1.15 per seeding or immature weed plant;
  • $0.30 per seed.

The 10% sales tax is added at the point of cannabis sale. The sales tax is lowered to 8% for edibles and 5.5% for flowers.

Maine Medical Marijuana Card

Qualified patients who are registered in a medical program can get weed in dispensaries on presenting their medical marijuana cards. These cards are valid throughout 1 year and should be annually renewed for $100.

Maine supports reciprocity and allows MMJ patients from other U.S. states to buy weed in local dispensaries. If you are an out-of-state patient, provide your valid MMJ card and a state ID.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Maine

The process of becoming a medical weed patient in Maine is not complicated and similar to the procedure of other states. Read about the main steps on how to obtain an MMJ card.

How to get a medical marijuana card in Maine

Diseases

Actually, there are no qualifying conditions and debilitating diseases for MMJ applicants that allow them to obtain a medical card and participate in the MMJ program. Their physician or nurse practitioner is in charge to recommend weed therapy.

Typically, patients are recommended weed treatment:

  • if they are diagnosed with conditions such as hepatitis C, glaucoma, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, nail-patella syndrome, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, etc.;
  • if chronic diseases or their treatment produce such conditions as seizures, wasting syndrome, severe nausea, etc.;
  • if debilitating diseases or conditions produce intractable pain, which has not responded to traditional medical or surgical measures for 6 months;
  • if patients are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, or other conditions that cause persistent muscle spasms.

Doctors can determine other debilitating conditions as qualifying.

Patient qualifications

Any medical user should be 18 years old and have a Maine residency. Before applying for a medical card, patients should find a medical professional to get a certification.

Health care providers who recommend cannabis treatment must be licensed as a physician/osteopathic physician/surgeon licensed by the Board of Licensure in Medicine. These doctors must hold a federal Drug Enforcement Administration license which allows them to prescribe Schedule Ι drugs.

The physician should assess the patient’s condition and recommend hemp treatment as beneficial for his/her existing diseases. The given certification is valid within 1 year.

Patient registry process

In fact, patients need only a medical certification and their state ID to buy medical hemp. If they choose, they can register and obtain an MMJ card free of charge. The registration in the program is voluntary. You can receive an MMJ card to present it to state law enforcement as proof of your patient status in case of need.

If patients are not registered, they should have a doctor’s certification form and a Maine ID to present both on request of law enforcement.

If you still want to get the card, submit a completed application to the MMJ program after you have got a doctor’s certification. You can designate 1 or 2 caregivers if you need help with medical hemp use. Indicate if you’re planning to grow weed. Medical providers registry process

Caregiver qualifications

Under weed laws, MMJ patients in Maine can designate 1 person (parent, nursing facility, or hospice provider) to assist them with hemp use, purchase, or cultivation. If designated caregivers are not the patient’s family members, they are required to register with the MMJ program and get a medical card. Under certain circumstances, patients can indicate a second caregiver.

Caregivers must be 21 or older and have no convictions of a drug offense. They are subject to a background check and allowed to serve 5 patients.

Minor patients can have a legal guardian or their parents to apply as caregivers on their behalf.

Transporting Marijuana in Maine

Cannabis can be transported in a vehicle if it is kept in a sealed box/package out of the driver’s reach. The best way to keep it is behind the backseat or in the trunk. You can legally transport 2.5 oz. of hemp and accessories.

Marijuana laws forbid drivers from operating a vehicle under the influence of pot. This is a bad idea since it puts all passengers at risk and can attract a steep fine. Drivers can also be fined even if a passenger is smoking in a car.

Transporting marijuana in Maine

Exporting Marijuana

Marijuana is outlawed under federal law. Since federal laws supersede state laws, transporting hemp across state lines is forbidden even if you are traveling to a state with legalized weed. You can face enormous fines or jail time. It is also a crime to mail cannabis from the state. Buy as much cannabis as you can use and dispose of leftovers when you leave Maine.

Growing Marijuana

Adult Maine residents can grow hemp for personal use. The recent cannabis law reduced the number of weed plants to cultivate from 6 to 3. Now, individuals 21 and older can cultivate up to 3 mature plants, possess 12 immature herbs, and an unlimited number of seedlings. The grower can keep all the harvest from the flowering plants. The cultivation is carried out in your own residence or other property with the owner’s permission.

The plants should be kept out of the public eye in a locked space. Take precautions and prevent access to the herbs from anyone under 21 years old. All plants should be labeled with the name of the grower and his/her driver’s license number (or ID number). If you rent an apartment, the plant’s legible tag should contain the landlord’s name and the growing permission.

If caregivers cultivate weed for their patients, they should pay an annual registration fee of $300 for each patient plus $31 for the criminal background check.

Licensing for Growers, Manufacturers, Processors, Retailers, Etc.

The Department of Administrative and Financial Services grants licenses from one of the following classes to applicants:

  • stores ($250-$2,500 fee);
  • cultivation facilities ($10-$100 fee per unit block);
  • products manufacturing facilities ($100-$1,000 fee);
  • testing facilities ($500 fee);
  • social clubs ($250-$2,500 fee);
  • and occupational registrations and licenses for employees, owners, contractors, operators, managers, and other support staff.

Within 90 days from the license application, the department issues a conditional license. After applicants submit a facility plan and operating plans, pay all fees, and receive authorization from the relevant municipality, they get an active license. Until January 2022, applicants cannot license for more than 4 retail stores.

Sources

https://legislature.maine.gov/lawlibrary/maines-medical-marijuana-law/9242

https://legislature.maine.gov/9419

http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/36/title36sec4923.html

https://www.mpp.org/states/maine/

https://taxfoundation.org/state-excise-taxes-on-recreational-marijuana-2020/

https://norml.org/laws/maine-penalties-2/

https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis-in-Maine

https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use

https://www.safeaccessnow.org/becoming-a-patient-in-maine

http://lldc.mainelegislature.org/Open/Laws/2015/2015-IB-c005.pdf

FAQ

The situation with marijuana decriminalization in the state is very complicated. Maine legalized medical marijuana in 1999, but the first dispensaries appeared here only in 2003. The state allowed recreational cannabis for adult consumption in 2016, but commercial sales started only in October 2020. Some cities remain “dry,” so check this information in advance if you go to the state.
Cannabis transportation across the state lines is forbidden even if you go to a state with legalized marijuana. You will face enormous fines or jail time.
The hash possession limit for adults of 21 and medical patients is the same – 2.5 oz. You can legally transport this amount of marijuana and cannabis paraphernalia.
The state legislation prohibits public marijuana consumption. You are not allowed to smoke in schools, parks, hotels, parked cars, and on federal lands. Social consumption clubs are also banned.
You can smoke marijuana in your private house and other private property out of sight of the public. The violation of this rule is subject to a fine even for medical patients.
Driving while intoxicated is against the law. Drivers will be fined even if their passenger is caught smoking marijuana.
Individuals of 18 with a Maine residency can become medical cannabis users. Registration in the program is voluntary. The state doesn’t even dictate a list of qualifying conditions. If you don’t want to get an MMJ card, you can get a certification approving that you require cannabis treatment. Show the certification and your state ID on request of law enforcement or while buying hash in dispensaries.
Only state residents can obtain medical cannabis cards.
Yes, obtaining a medical marijuana card is not obligatory. You can buy cannabis by presenting a doctor’s certification and your ID to a dispensary employee.
Adult individuals can cultivate cannabis for personal use. They are allowed to grow 3 plants and have 12 immature herbs. All plants should be labeled and kept in a locked space.
No reviews yet...
Be the first and share your opinion

Write a Review

Related articles

Top articles

Recent Articles