Maine Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Maine Cannabis Law

Maine allows both recreational and medical marijuana and regulations permit licensees to operate as both under certain permissions.

Maine Cultivation License

  • Someone looking to apply for a Maine cultivation license must also not be an owner or indirect stakeholder in three or more other cultivation licenses or a cultivation operation with over 30,000 square footage.
  • Maine’s commercial grow license application fees are $100, and the operation itself for a Tier 1 cost as low as $9 a plant as prescribed by the plant Tier 1 limit or $250 for the entire plant canopy.
  • Maine marijuana laws and regulations also charge separately for indoor versus outdoor operations where indoor operations tend to be a higher price ($17 a plant or $500).
  • When you apply to become a Maine cultivator, you should expect the application fees and plant canopy fees, and for them to increase with the Tier level, you apply for. There are also cultivation excise taxes you will pay once your operation gets up and running. Excise taxes on cultivation are by the pound and plant part and are paid each month.

Maine Marijuana Growing Laws & Licenses

  • Tier 1 licenses are allowed up to 500 square feet for plant canopy or 30 mature plants. This is the lowest level of cultivation license and is suitable for medical and recreational growers. Applying for a Tier 1 license will range from outdoor to indoor pricing: $9-$17 a plant or $250-$500 and an initial $100 application fee.
  • Tier 2 licenses are allowed up to 2,000 square feet of plant canopy. Applying for a Tier 2 license will range from outdoor to indoor: $1500-$3000 and a $500 application fee.
  • Tier 3 licenses are allowed up to 7,000 square feet of plant canopy. Applying for a Tier 3 license will range from outdoor to indoor: $5000-$10000 and a $500 application fee.
  • Tier 4 licenses are allowed up to 20,000 square feet of plant canopy. Applying for a Tier 4 license will range from outdoor to indoor: $15,000-$30,000 and a $500 application fee.

Maine Cannabis Compliance State Tracking System

  • All marijuana in Maine should be adequately tracked and recorded so that state regulators and auditors can easily understand it. Records are to be kept for five years in accordance with regulations.
  • All other marijuana tracking rules are subject to the state tracking system, Metrc. All inventory, transfers, and changes in marijuana products should be recorded and kept in the Metrc system to ensure the integrity of a marijuana business in Maine.

Third-Party Integration

  • 365 Cannabis has an integrated solution to Metrc, which means that our ERP solution easily communicates and transfers data to Metrc, which makes your operations run smoother and quicker. Having a robust ERP such as 365 Cannabis will allow your business operations to be manageable all in one place

Can I buy adult use cannabis?

  • Yes, provided the transaction occurs within one of Maine’s actively licensed adult use cannabis stores.
  • Maine is home to both a medical cannabis program and an adult use industry. The medical program serves patients, while Maine’s adult use industry services consumers 21 years of age and older. Adult use cannabis and medical cannabis may not be dispensed from the same facility. Unless they have changed their license type or have a separate retail facility, existing caregiver retail stores and medical cannabis dispensaries are limited to selling cannabis and cannabis products to patients with valid medical cannabis credentials in their possession.

How old do I have to be to consume cannabis and cannabis products?

  • In order to possess or use non-medical cannabis in Maine, you must be 21 years of age or older.

Where can I lawfully consume cannabis?

  • Using cannabis in any form (smoking, eating or vaping) isn’t allowed in public places, including amusement parks, ski resorts, sporting and music venues, state and national parks, campsites, playgrounds, sidewalks and roads, cannabis retail businesses, bars, restaurants and outdoor or rooftop cafes.
  • So where can you use it? Cannabis use is legal within the confines of private property. Just keep in mind that property owners, landlords, and rental companies can ban the use and possession of cannabis on their premises.

What are the rules around federal property?

  • Cannabis is legal under State of Maine law. Federally, it is not legal. If you’re on federal property, such as a national park or a border crossing, you can’t even have it in your possession.

What are the laws on driving and cannabis use?

  • It is illegal to use cannabis in a vehicle. This goes for both the passenger and the driver.
  • It is also illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. You could be charged with an OUI.

How much cannabis can I possess?

  • Adults 21 years of age or older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of cannabis, cannabis concentrate and cannabis products, including no more than 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.

How many plants can I grow?

  • Mainers can grow cannabis for personal use. As many as three mature, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings are allowed per resident 21 years of age or older.
  • These restrictions do not apply to the cultivation of cannabis for medical use by a qualifying patient, a caregiver, a registered caregiver or a registered dispensary as authorized by the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.

What are some of the rules related to growing cannabis for personal use?

  • First, keep it out of sight. An adult who chooses to grow plants for personal use must make sure their cannabis is not visible from a public way without the use of binoculars or other visual aid.
  • Second, make sure it’s locked up. An adult who chooses to grow their own plants must take reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access by individuals under the age of 21.
  • Finally, make sure the ownership of the plants is clear to law enforcement that may come across them. If you’re growing cannabis for personal use, the plant(s) must be tagged with a legible label that includes your name, driver’s license or state identification card number, and a notation that the plant(s) are being grown as authorized by law.
  • If the parcel or tract of land you are growing on is owned by someone else, you must have their written permission to grow and care for your plants and include the landowners name on each plant’s label.

Medical Use

Who can buy medical cannabis?

  • Only medical patients can buy medical cannabis in Maine. Individuals who have received a patient certification from a medical professional may legally access medical cannabis from a registered caregiver or dispensary. Cards are available to Maine residents only.
  • Patients visiting Maine from another state may be able to purchase medical cannabis from a registered caregiver or dispensary if they have valid patient identification credentials (like a registry or patient identification card) and their state of residence allows them to use their state-issued credential to purchase medical cannabis in Maine.

What is the difference between a dispensary and a caregiver retail store?

  • Until recently, dispensaries were required to by nonprofit entities and there was only one per Maine Department of Health and Human Services Public Health District. At present, the most notable difference is that dispensaries can grow an unlimited number of cannabis plants.

How much does it cost to obtain a patient certification?

  • The cost for a patient certification depends on the medical provider conducting the examination and issuing the certification.
  • The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program provides patient cards to registered providers. In order to ensure patient access to the program, the State of Maine has never charged medical providers for the cards they provide to qualifying patients.
  • If an individual is interested in obtaining a medical card, they may wish to have those discussions with their primary care physician or other trusted medical provider. They may find in doing so that they are able to obtain a card at little to no cost to them.

Are temporary/digital/electronic patient certifications valid?

  • No. Temporary and/or digital medical cannabis patient cards or certifications are not an acceptable form of identification for the purposes of obtaining cannabis for medical use in Maine.
  • To be a qualifying patient in Maine’s program, among other things, an individual must possess “a valid written certification…” A written certification is only valid if it is “a document on tamper-resistant paper signed by a medical provider…”. These requirements are written into law and aim to preserve the integrity of the medical cannabis program by reducing the possibility of altering and tampering with valid medical certifications.
  • The Office of Cannabis Policy provides medical providers with tamper-resistant patient certification paper at no cost.

Caregivers/Dispensaries/Medical Providers

What do I need to apply for or renew a registry identification card (caregiver, caregiver assistant, dispensary employee, etc.)?

  • Complete and submit the appropriate medical use application(s). Supplemental instructions can be found for the following:
    • Caregiver Online Application Instructions
    • Dispensary Additional Instructions
  • Among other things, you will need to provide a copy of your Maine-issued driver’s license or identification card as proof of residency. Please review all materials for completeness prior to submission to ensure their timely consideration and processing.

How long does it take to get my caregiver card?

  • Current law requires the Department to approve or deny an initial application or a renewal within 30 days of receipt. In the case of an approval, a registry identification card must be issued within five days of approval.
  • The average time frame to approve an application is currently one month.

How much do caregiver cards cost?

  • The cost for a registry identification card varies depending on the number of plants being grown. At most, a registered caregiver may grow 30 mature plants or 500 square feet of mature plant canopy and 60 immature cannabis plants. The application fee for a canopy caregiver is $1,500.
  • Applications fees corresponding to total plant count with fees growing incrementally by $240.

Can I conduct sales to a visiting patient who presents a medical cannabis credential and a form of identification from two different states?

  • No. A visiting medical cannabis patient must possess photographic identification or a driver’s license from the same jurisdiction as their valid medical cannabis credential.

Can I travel outside of Maine with cannabis?

  • It’s illegal to leave Maine with any cannabis products—medical or recreational. Do not cross state lines or approach border crossing with cannabis in your possession. Mailing cannabis from Maine is also illegal.

How many cultivation areas may a dispensary maintain?

  • In accordance with 22 MRS § 2428(6)(I), registered dispensaries may maintain only one cultivation area, at a location disclosed to the department on the dispensary’s application for, or renewal of, a dispensary registration certificate. Registered dispensaries may cultivate all immature and mature cannabis plants required for the registered dispensary to assist qualifying patients.

Qualifying Patients

  • Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, nail-patella syndrome or the treatment of these conditions; A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medical or surgical measures for more than 6 months; A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department as provided for in section 2424, subsection 2.

Maine Cannabis Tax

  1. Rate of sales tax. A tax is imposed on the sale of marijuana and marijuana products sold at retail marijuana stores. The rate of tax is 10%.
  2. Exemption. The tax on marijuana and marijuana products imposed pursuant to this section may not be levied on marijuana sold by registered dispensaries or registered

primary caregivers to qualifying patients and primary caregivers pursuant to Title 22, chapter 558-C.

  • Adult-use retail: Purchases are subject to a 10% marijuana excise tax, plus the statewide 5.5% sales tax. No additional local municipal taxes are allowed.
  • Medical marijuana: There are no marijuana excise taxes imposed on medical sales, but they are subject to the normal statewide sales tax of 5.5%—except for edibles, which are taxed at 8%. No additional local municipal taxes are allowed.
  • Wholesale: The excise tax on cultivators is $335 per pound of flowers, $94 per pound for trim, $1.50 per pound for seedlings and 35 cents per pound for seeds.

Maine Cannabis Advertising Guide

  • May not be misleading, deceptive or false
    • May not involve advertising or marketing that has a high likelihood of reaching persons under 21 years of age or that is specifically designed to appeal particularly to persons under 21 years of age;
    • May not be placed or otherwise used within 1,000 feet of the property line of a preexisting public or private school, except that, if a municipality by ordinance or other regulation, or, in the case of a town, plantation or township located in the unorganized and deorganized areas, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, chooses to prohibit the placement or use of signs or advertising by or on behalf of a marijuana establishment at distances greater than or less than 1,000 feet but not less than 500 feet from the property line of a preexisting public or private school, that greater or lesser distance applies. As used in this paragraph, “school” has the same meaning as in section 402, subsection 2, paragraph A;
    • May not violate any other requirement or restriction on signs, advertising and marketing imposed by the department by rule pursuant to subsection 2.
    • A prohibition on health or physical benefit claims in advertising or marketing, including, but not limited to, health or physical benefit claims on the label or packaging of adult use marijuana or an adult use marijuana product;
    • A prohibition on unsolicited advertising or marketing on the Internet, including, but not limited to, banner advertisements on mass-market websites;
    • A prohibition on opt-in advertising or marketing that does not permit an easy and permanent opt-out feature; and
    • A prohibition on advertising or marketing directed toward location-based devices, including, but not limited to, cellular telephones, unless the marketing is a mobile device application installed on the device by the owner of the device who is 21 years of age or older and includes a permanent and easy opt-out feature.

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

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