Maine marijuana laws have been at the forefront of cannabis legalization on the East Coast, starting with medical cannabis in 1999 and recreational use in 2016. They began cannabis reform as early as 1976 by decriminalizing possession. Portland, Maine, took a step towards recreational use legalization in 2013, though it lacked a structured licensing system or industry regulations.
Despite passing a voter initiative for adult-use cannabis in 2016, Maine only officially started adult-use sales in October 2020, following the passage of LD 1719 in April 2018, which established the regulatory framework and significantly differed from the initial voter initiative.
Maine Marijuana Laws for Consumers
Individuals who are 21 years old or older and possess a valid identification can buy a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis and cannabis concentrate combined. However, they are not permitted to hold more than five grams of cannabis concentrate. Public consumption of cannabis remains against the law.
Regarding cultivation, an adult can grow a maximum of three flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings. Engaging in home cultivation beyond these limits or in restricted areas, like near a school, is a criminal offense subject to legal penalties.
Maine Marijuana Laws for Cannabis Business Licensing
The Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) is actively involved in licensing adult-use cannabis establishments and ensuring compliance with program rules. Maine’s medical and adult-use programs accept applications continuously, without a predetermined limit on licenses for either program.
Maine operates under a dual-licensing program, requiring cannabis businesses to obtain local municipality support. Towns have the option to participate through a vote of approval by the town council or by the voters at the ballot box. Local authorities in municipalities possess the authority to set and manage license limits and ultimately approve applications within their respective areas.
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