Maine Marijuana Licensing >
Since October 2020, the demand for recreational marijuana in the state has risen exponentially by over 390%, as reflected in the OMP sales amount data. A closer examination of these figures by product category reveals that buyers favor usable marijuana, like dried leaves and flowers, over marijuana-infused products and concentrates. Sale of usable marijuana from October 2020 to May 2021 totaled over $14 million, while infused products and concentrates combined sold $8.8 million. Furthermore, in May 2021 alone, over 71,800 sales transactions for recreational marijuana were recorded in the state. Total sales figure for that month was over $5 million.
According to Maine's medical marijuana program data provided by OMP, the number of medical marijuana caregivers increased by 5.4% between 2018 and 2019. This rise indicates that more patients were placed on cannabis therapy hence, the higher number of caregivers. Further growth of 14.8% was recorded the following year, driving the number of medical marijuana caregivers to 3,046 in 2020. Similarly, the 2019 annual report shows a 42.3% increase in the number of medical cannabis cards issued to patients on marijuana therapy compared to the previous year. These data reflect the rising demand for medicinal cannabis. From these figures, it is evident that there is a growing market for marijuana in Maine.
While Maine legalized recreational marijuana at the end of 2016, legal sales did not begin until the end of 2020. The OMP showed that recreational marijuana sales for Maine in 2020 hit $4.3 million. Total sales grew to $82 million in 2021, the first full year of sales. In 2022, $159 million worth of adult-use marijuana was sold in Maine and between January and April, the state has already recorded $61.6 million in retail marijuana sales.
According to Maine's Constitution and Statutes, the state imposes cannabis excise taxes on marijuana products. Whenever marijuana growers sell or transfer products to retail stores or product manufacturers, the law requires them to pay 15% excise tax. License suspension and revocation are possible penalties commercial cannabis growers could face for failing to pay cultivation tax. Also, retail marijuana stores pay sales tax of 10% for all marijuana and marijuana products they sell to customers. However, registered caregivers and dispensaries are exempt from both sales and excise taxes when they sell marijuana for medical purposes.
The Maine statute concerning marijuana tax also stipulates that every month, 10% of all the revenue generated from marijuana excise tax in the state must go into the Marijuana Regulation and Licensing Fund. In addition, 20% goes to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 10% of this amount finances Maine Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to raise awareness among youth to lower marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use. The other 10% is allocated to the provision of addiction treatment services. The law also states that 5% of all revenue from marijuana excise tax should fund access programs for low-income patients on marijuana treatment. Sheriff's associations across Maine get 5% of excise tax revenues to finance campaigns against alcohol and marijuana sales to persons under 21 years. The State of Maine Controller transfers the rest of the revenues to the state's general funds.
The initial $30,000 of sales tax revenue generated annually in Maine is set aside for funding the renovation and construction of public schools within the state. Afterward, 5% of the revenue goes to the state's municipalities, apportioned based on the tax revenues generated from each municipality. County governments are then allocated fractions of the funds based on their sales tax receipts. Finally, like the excise taxes, the State Controller transfers the rest of the revenues to Maine's general fund.
The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) is the agency responsible for budget preparation, financial advisory, and planning. It serves the three branches of the state government and coordinates the programming and financial planning of the state and other public agencies. The DAFS coordinates marijuana licensing and tax policies that guide the manufacture and sale of marijuana within the state. Also, DAFS provides I.T. services, human resources, fleet management, and procurement, among other responsibilities in Maine.
The agency has nine bureaus and other commissions and boards through which it meets its commitment to the state. The DAFS is located at:
Burton M. Cross Building
111 Sewall Street, Third Floor
Augusta, ME 04330
The Maine Revenue Services (MRS) is one of the bureaus within the DAFS that handles the administration of the state's tax laws. MRS is authorized to collect and administer income, property, estate, motor fuel, and other taxes for various businesses in Maine, including marijuana businesses. The bureau assesses taxes through the State Tax Assessor. The MRS provides online educational resources for taxpayers. Maine taxpayers can contact the MRS for assistance by calling (207) 624-9784. They may also send an email or visit their office at:
Maine Revenue Services
51 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 1057
Augusta, ME 043302-1057