Recently, Maine has undergone significant changes in its cannabis laws, transitioning from strict prohibition to allowing medical marijuana use. Understanding the nuances of these regulations can be complex, but worry not—we're here to shed light on the matter.
Let's delve into the details of Maine's cannabis laws, covering aspects like possession, cultivation, penalties, and the processes for acquiring and distributing medical marijuana in the state. Follow us as we explore the ends and outs of Maine’s cannabis atmosphere!
Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in Maine?
Maine Cannabis Laws
How the Legal Sale of Cannabis Happens
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Where to Buy Cannabis Online
- Cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use in Maine.
- Adults can possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis at a time and can grow up to six mature cannabis plants for personal use.
- There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces.
Is Cannabis Legal in Maine?
Absolutely, in Maine, marijuana enjoys legal status. Both the Marijuana Legalization Act and the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act outline the provisions for eligible individuals to utilize marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.
The state levies a 15% excise tax on cannabis plantations and a 10% sales tax on retail dispensaries. However, medical cannabis patients are exempt from these taxes. Despite the price hikes due to taxation, the cannabis market continues to flourish.
It's worth noting that, as a Schedule I controlled substance under the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, federal regulations prohibit marijuana use on federally-owned properties within Maine, even though it's legalized. Additionally, it's illegal to transport any form of marijuana product from Maine to other states.
Regulations for Recreational Use
In Maine, recreational marijuana use is subject to the following regulations:
- Adults aged 21 and older can buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. This can include a combination of flower, cannabis concentrate, or other cannabis products, but may include no more than 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
- Adults aged 21 or older can share up to 2.5 ounces of processed marijuana and six immature cannabis plants or seedlings without any exchange of payment.
- They're also allowed to cultivate up to twelve immature, six mature cannabis plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings.
- Legal recreational users can travel with limited amounts of cannabis for personal use if stored in a sealed container and out of reach while in the vehicle. It may be placed in the trunk.
- Rec users can consume marijuana in private locations, such as their home, and away from public spaces and people under the age of 18.
Qualifying Conditions and Regulations for Medical Cannabis in Maine
Medical caregivers and patients have their own set of permissions, including:
- the possession of up to 8 pounds of harvested cannabis
- cultivation of six mature and twelve immature marijuana plants
- possession of cannabis paraphernalia.
- Sharing up to 2.5 ounces of harvested cannabis with another medical marijuana patient without any financial transactions involved.
Unlike other states, there are no qualifying conditions to qualify a patient for medical marijuana. Instead, physicians can use their discretion to recommend cannabis to patients.
Restrictions for Cannabis Use in Maine
In Maine, despite the legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis, usage is regulated with specific limitations:
- Cultivation in visible or accessible public areas is illegal. Measures must be taken to prevent access by minors at recreational cultivation sites.
- Those under 21 can't use or possess recreational marijuana.
- Driving under the influence is forbidden for both drivers and passengers.
- Sharing cannabis, even with legal-aged individuals, over specified amounts is prohibited.
- Public consumption of cannabis in any form is illegal.
- Taking marijuana onto federal properties is against the law.
- Usage on private properties designated for childcare is prohibited.
- Transporting marijuana across state lines, even where legal, is illegal for residents.
- Using marijuana on disapproving private property is unlawful.
- Government agencies can't grow, sell, or provide cannabis.
- Online purchases, courier services, vending machines, and drive-through sales for cannabis are prohibited.
- Home extraction of marijuana concentrates using harmful chemicals is illegal, and landlords can't allow tenants to do so.
- Dispensaries can't openly display cannabis or related products.
- Restrictions apply to medical marijuana patients under 18, including limitations on smoking and cultivation, requiring a caregiver to grow for them.
- Medical patients have possession limits and restrictions on sharing harvested cannabis and access to their cultivation facilities.
Maine Cannabis Laws
In Maine, both medical and recreational cannabis use is legal. Here's a rundown of key changes and provisions:
Legalization Milestones: Medical cannabis was legalized in 1999, followed by recreational cannabis in 2016 through ballot measures. Sales for recreational use started in October 2020 with LD 719 enabling regulations.
Regulatory Updates:LD 719 initiated mandatory tracking of marijuana by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), and municipalities can set local rules. It introduced a 10% sales tax, with 5% going to municipalities and 12% to the Adult Use Public Health Safety Fund.
SAFE Banking Acts: Governor Mills supported the SAFE Banking Act in 2019 and 2021, aiming to grant cannabis businesses access to banking services despite federal restrictions.
Symbol Usage Mandate: Maine's Marijuana Legalization Act (MLA) dictates a universal symbol for cannabis packaging, ensuring clear THC labeling.
Legislative Updates: Recent bills (H.P 1435, H.P. 1350, H.P. 1360, H.P 1434, H.P. 1367, H.P 1457) clarify caregiver cultivation, plant tracking, off-premises sales, testing variances, and crime disqualification under cannabis laws.
How Cannabis is Bought and Sold in Maine
In Maine, purchasing cannabis involves certain criteria:
- Buyers must be 21+ and show valid government ID at dispensaries. Medical patients need their cards, but only those 18+ can buy independently.
- Dispensaries usually deal in cash due to federal restrictions, with limited banking services available.
- Online, vending machine, and drive-through sales are prohibited by law, as is using home delivery services for purchases.
Dispensaries follow specific regulations:
- Dispensaries can sell cannabis, paraphernalia, concentrates, and edibles, limiting purchases to 2.5 ounces of cannabis or combined concentrates, with a maximum of 5 grams of concentrate per purchase.
- Notably, one dispensary can't sell both recreational and medical marijuana in Maine.
License acquisition follows a defined process:
- The Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) issues different licenses, including cultivation, manufacturing, and testing licenses, involving three steps: conditional licensure, local authorization, and active licensure.
- Application and licensing fees vary based on license types, ranging from $100 to a maximum of $500 for application and from less than $250 to a maximum of $30,000 for licensing.
Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Maine
Here's a concise version outlining the penalties and regulations regarding cannabis in Maine:
- Adults 21 and older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 2.5 ounces including up to 5 grams of concentrate.
- Cultivation permits three flowering plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings for personal use.
- Public use incurs a $100 fine, but possession with a physician's recommendation isn't penalized.
- Penalties for possession range from fines to imprisonment based on the amount possessed.
Sale or Distribution
- Sharing small amounts has no penalty.
- Selling marijuana has varying penalties based on quantity and circumstances, with fines and imprisonment.
- Cultivation penalties vary based on the number of plants and proximity to certain locations, with fines and imprisonment.
Hash & Concentrates
- Possession and use penalties for concentrates range from fines to imprisonment based on quantity.
- Selling hashish incurs significant fines and imprisonment, especially with aggravating factors.
- Possessing paraphernalia is legal for adults, but selling it incurs fines and possible imprisonment.
- Aggravated trafficking carries license restrictions and more severe penalties.
- Drugged driving is criminalized, and there are legal implications for marijuana's medicinal use.
Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives
Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.