Maine Marijuana Laws

  1. Maine Cannabis
  2. Maine Marijuana Laws

Key Points

  • Weed is legal for recreational and medical use in Maine.

  • The legal age to purchase marijuana is 21. It is against Maine’s law to smoke weed in public.

  • It is legal for recreational and medical marijuana users to possess up to 2.5 ounces.

  • Recreational and medical marijuana users may cultivate up to 3 mature plants and 12 immature plants.

  • There are penalties for the possession, sale, cultivation, distribution, and trafficking of marijuana in Maine.

Is Marijuana Legal in Maine?

Yes, marijuana is legal in Maine. As provided in the Marijuana Legalization Act and the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, eligible persons can use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Legally, adults up to 21 years can:

  • Share up to 2.5 ounces of processed marijuana and six immature cannabis plants or seedlings without remuneration

  • Cultivate up to twelve immature, six mature cannabis plants, and unlimited seedlings

Medical caregivers and patients are lawfully permitted to:

  • Possess up to 8 pounds of harvested cannabis

  • Cultivate up to six mature, twelve immature marijuana plants, and any amount of cannabis seedlings

  • Possess cannabis paraphernalia

  • Share up to 2.5 ounces of harvested cannabis with another medical marijuana patient without remuneration

The state imposes a 15% excise tax on cannabis plantations and a 10% sales tax on retail dispensaries but exempts medical cannabis patients from paying taxes. Although the tax imposed on marijuana makes the product pricey, the market still thrives. Cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance under the 1970 Controlled Substance Act. Consequently, the federal government prohibits its use on federally-owned properties in Maine, despite its legalization. Also, it is illegal for anyone to leave Maine to other states with any form of a marijuana product.

Maine Marijuana Laws in 2022

Maine marijuana laws permit both medical and recreational cannabis use in 2021. In November 1999, 62% of Maine voters supported ballot Question 2, which legalized medical cannabis. In 2016, recreational cannabis became legal in Maine after a majority vote for ballot Question 1. The sale of recreational marijuana eventually commenced on October 9, 2020, as provided in LD 719. The laws regulating marijuana in Maine make provisions for cultivation and dispensary licenses. Mainers who intend to purchase recreational cannabis should be aware of the various rules that affect cannabis and changes made over the years:

  • Changes to Title 7 Chapter 417: This took effect on February 5, 2018, during which Title 7, chapter 417 of the Maine Revised Statute was repelled. Title 28-B of Maine Revised Statute (LD 1719) was enacted in its place. LD 1719 regulates recreational marijuana in the state and clarifies legal terms used in Title 7 Chapter 417. LD 719 provided for mandatory tracking of recreational marijuana and licenses by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS). It requires the DAFS to monitor marijuana movement in the state from farms to manufacturing plants, testing facilities, retail dispensaries, or disposal points. Also, DAFS is responsible for informing the public about the potential health risks of marijuana through campaigns funded with excise and sales tax revenues.

Also, LD719 permits the state's municipalities to establish laws regulating and limiting cannabis within their jurisdiction. In addition, it amends marijuana tax laws, imposing a 10% sales tax on cannabis sold to consumers at social clubs or retail stores. Furthermore, LD 719 stipulates that municipalities get 5% of the total marijuana tax they generate. Each municipality in the state with a cannabis plantation or retail store is also entitled to 1% of the monthly marijuana tax generated statewide. After distribution to municipalities, 12% of the remaining tax goes to the Adult Use Public Health Safety Fund.

  • Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019: Governor Mills co-signed a letter with other U.S. governors proposing a SAFE Banking Act. This Act would enable marijuana businesses in Maine to access banking services without any legal repercussions. Although marijuana is legal in Maine, financial institutions are restricted from serving cannabis-profiting enterprises because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Consequently, licensed cannabis enterprises in the state carry out financial transactions through cash, limiting their smooth operations.

  • Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2021: The SAFE Banking Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 23, 2021. This Act would permit financial institutions to provide loans and other financial services to licensed cannabis businesses without risking asset forfeiture. Also, the bill would hinder banking regulatory agencies from terminating the accounts of licensed marijuana business owners due to the nature of their businesses.

  • Provisions of the Marijuana Legalization Act (MLA) of 2016 mandates cannabis manufacturers in the state to use Maine's universal symbol to indicate that a package contains cannabis or its product. It is a black cannabis leaf on a white background within a red triangle. Below the triangle is a text that reads ''CONTAINS THC''. It is obligatory for manufacturers to imprint the universal symbol on every serving of edible cannabis products.

  • An Act to Update Maine’s Medical Marijuana Act (H.P 1435 - L.D. 1928) - On April 26th, 2022, the government of Maine made changes to the law governing how caregivers can cultivate cannabis for qualifying patients. The update clarifies the meaning of cultivation area, mature plant canopy, telehealth, synchronous, and immature plant canopy. It also specifies the number of plants a caregiver can cultivate and the guidelines for the cultivation area. In addition, it removes the requirement for a second opinion from a certified pediatric provider for patients with qualifying conditions.

  • An Act to allow Maine Adult Use Marijuana Tracking System (H.P. 1350-L.D 1817) - Effective August 2022, this act permits persons with an adult use cultivation license to track cannabis plants at the same stage of growth and planted in the same specific area. It also prohibits the Office of Cannabis Policy from requiring persons with a cultivation license to attach an inventory tracking tag to each plant with a group.

  • Delivery of Adult Use Marijuana (H.P. 1360 - L.D. 1827)- This act permits curbside pickup and limited delivery of cannabis products for recreational use outside businesses and safe zones from the 8th of August 2022.

  • An Act to Authorize Off-premises Sales for Adult-Use Cannabis (H.P 1434 - L.D 1927). The act came into law in April 2022 and is effective on 1st January 2023. The law permits some off-premises sale (indoor or outdoor) of non-smokable marijuana for adult use stores with municipal approval. However, the law specifies that the buyer must be 21 years and older and cannot consume the cannabis product at the sale location.

  • An Act to Permit Variance Rate in the Amount and Potency of Cannabis (H.P. 1367 - L.D. 1846). Effective 8th August 2022, edible marijuana can pass the mandatory testing requirement if it has a variance of up to +/- 10% in the cannabinoid potency.

  • An Act to Promote Equity, Reduce Drug Offense Restrictions, and Replace the term Marijuana (H.P 1457 - L.D 1957). From August 2022, the act excludes cannabis-related crimes from the definition of disqualifying drug offenses previously authorized under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act and the Marijuana Legalization Act. It reduces the look-back period from 10 to 5 years and replaces the term Marijuana with Cannabis.

Timeline of Сannabis Law in Maine

Cannabis is legal for recreational and medical use. The changes over time leading to the legalization of cannabis in Maine are as follows:

  • 1976: Maine decriminalizes marijuana possession, eliminating arrest and jail time for simple marijuana possession for personal use.

  • 1999: Mainers vote yes to medical cannabis for qualifying patients, birthing the LD 2109. It permits patients with qualifying medical conditions to use and cultivate an allowable amount of cannabis without civil and criminal charges.

  • 2002: LD 611. Maine created a pilot program to implement the Medical Marijuana Act of 1999.

  • 2009: Maine expands the existing medical marijuana law by enacting LD 975. The Act limits marijuana possession for qualifying patients and approves the registry and use of identification cards for qualifying patients.

  • 2016: Mainers voted in favor of recreational use, taxation, and retail sale of marijuana.

  • 2018: LD 1719, passed by the legislature, establishes the framework for adult-use cannabis sales in Maine. Specifically, it includes penalties for marijuana possession, cultivation, consumption, sale, or manufacturing not authorized under the Act. It also removes social club licensing, which permits the legal consumption of cannabis in public. LD 1539 and LD 238, enacted in 2018, amend Maines' medical marijuana laws. It revises patients' possession and cultivation limits. It also removes the list of qualifying medical conditions, so medical marijuana is used on a need basis as recommended by a physician.

  • 2019: Governor Mills signs LD 719 into law. The Act amends the Adult Use Marijuana Law. Changes reflected in the Act include operations, licensure, and technical requirements for marijuana testing facilities and the application of excise tax revenue on adult-use marijuana.

  • 2020: The official sale of recreational marijuana began in Maine.

Federal Legalization of Weed in 2022

The federal legislation on weed aims to decriminalize marijuana. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act removes criminal penalties for the possession, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana. In addition, the bill recommends removing marijuana from the list of scheduled controlled substances. Other changes proposed in the Act include:

  • Reviewing federal laws to permit persons with certain cannabis-related convictions access to benefits and protection under immigration law and federal public benefits.

  • Replacing all references to marijuana with cannabis.

  • Mandating the Bureau of Labor Statistics to publish data on cannabis business employees and owners.

  • Imposing an excise tax on cannabis products imported into the United States and an occupational tax on cannabis production facilities and warehouses.

  • Granting legitimate cannabis business access to loans and services through the Small Business Administration.

  • Supporting individuals, businesses, and communities impacted by the war on drugs through various programs and services.

  • Setting up a process to expunge convictions related to federal marijuana offenses.

  • Studying the societal impact of recreational marijuana in states that legalized adult use.

  • Understanding the effect of state-legal cannabis in the workplace.

  • Implementing new ways to determine a motorist's marijuana impairment.

  • Investigating the consequences of states adult-use marijuana legalization in schools and school-aged children.

Can I Use Cannabis?

Yes. Persons 21 years and older can legally use recreational marijuana in Maine. Minors in the state can only use cannabis when they have a recommendation from a physician and a medical marijuana card. Because of its psychoactive properties and addictive tendencies, marijuana is considered a hazardous drug. This is why it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug and still prohibited on the federal level. Before cannabis legalization in the state, Maine, along with other U.S. states, was at the forefront in combating cannabis use within their territories. The 1910 Mexican revolution that resulted in massive Mexican immigration into the U.S. changed people's perspectives on marijuana. However, the federal government enacted the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, prohibiting cannabis use across the country. The Control Substance Act of 1970 was later enacted, further tightening the laws on cannabis in the U.S. Despite this, Maine lessened the penalties for cannabis possession in 1976. Currently, the state allows both recreational and medical use of marijuana.

The Maine Marijuana Legalization Act permits persons who are 21 years and above to use and cultivate marijuana for recreational purposes. The Act allows eligible Mainers to grow any amount of seedlings and a maximum of six mature and twelve immature cannabis plants. Growing more than the stipulated number of cannabis plants is an offense punishable by up to a year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000. Adults who have had the following convictions in the past are prohibited from cultivating marijuana in Maine:

  • Violation of marijuana cultivation laws

  • Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of marijuana charges

  • Furnishing cannabis to a minor

How The Legal Sale Of Cannabis In Maine Happens

To legally purchase cannabis in Maine, a buyer must be 21 years or older. Marijuana dispensaries can only sell to eligible individuals. As a buyer, you must present a valid government-issued photo ID showing your age at a cannabis dispensary. However, dispensaries cannot sell to visibly intoxicated persons even if they are up to the legal age. Medical patients must present their medical marijuana cards, and only patients who are 18 years and above can buy cannabis themselves. Most marijuana dispensaries deal strictly in cash because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Banks provide marijuana businesses with limited services. As such, they do not accept credit cards and checks as payment methods. Maine Statute prohibits dispensaries from selling recreational marijuana through online platforms, automatic vending machines, or drive-through windows. Also, as stipulated in P.L. 2017, residents cannot buy cannabis using a home delivery service.

Per Title 28-B Section 504 of Maine Statute, cannabis dispensaries can sell cannabis, marijuana paraphernalia, hash, and concentrate on their premises. Retailers can also sell cannabis edibles (like sodas, candies, and pastries) and non-consumables like apparel. Eligible persons can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of recreational cannabis alone or combined with marijuana concentrates. Five grams of cannabis concentrate is the maximum that an individual can purchase from a retailer at a time. Worthy of note is that recreational marijuana and medical marijuana cannot be sold by the same dispensary in Maine.

The Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) is responsible for regulating marijuana licenses in Maine. The OCP may issue one of five different license types to eligible applicants in the state as stipulated in Title 28-B Section 201 of Maine Statute. The range of licenses includes cultivation, manufacturing, testing, storage, and sample collection licenses. Recreational marijuana license applicants must undergo three steps - conditional licensure, local authorization, and active licensure before they can fully operate in Maine. Conditional licensure involves the applicant paying an application fee and submitting to a criminal background check, after which the OCP issues an individual identification card (IIC). This license is valid for one year. Secondly, the applicant obtains authorization from the municipality they intend to establish their business. Lastly, if the local approval is given, the OCP reviews the application and issues an invoice for the licensing fee. The applicant pays the licensing fee (via bank check or money order) to the OCP to obtain their recreational marijuana license. Every active license is valid for one year and requires subsequent renewal with the OMP.

Generally, as provided in Title 28-B Section 207 of the Maine Constitution, the application fee differs, depending on the license type, and ranges from $100 to a maximum of $500. Also, licensing fees range from less than $250 to a maximum of $30,000.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Maine

In Maine, it is illegal for persons under 21 years to buy cannabis unless they are medical marijuana patients and must be at least 18 years old. However, medical marijuana patients under 18 years can use the drug under the supervision of adults. Adults over 21 years are permitted to use recreational marijuana, but the state has strict regulations that guide the sale and consumption of cannabis. The following are some marijuana-related offenses in Maine and their penalties:

What Are Cannabis Possession Charges in Maine?

Underage persons caught in possession of recreational marijuana violate Chapter 558 Section 2383 of the Maine Statutes. The fines for such offenses depend on the amount of cannabis found on them.

  • $350 to $600 for possession of fewer than 1.25 ounces of cannabis

  • $700 to $1,000 for possession of 1.25 to 2.5 ounces of cannabis

Legally, Maine adults can use and possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces or 5 grams of recreational marijuana or its concentrate. However, possession of cannabis above the allowed quantity is an offense punishable by jail and fines. Also, smoking cannabis in public places is illegal and attracts a $100 maximum fine.

Maine marijuana possession laws for persons 21 and older who possess cannabis above the legal limit in Maine include:

  • 2.5 to 8 ounces: It is a class E crime with a six months jail term and fines up to $1,000.

  • Eight ounces to 1 pound: Possession of up to one pound of cannabis gets a jail sentence of 1 year and fines not exceeding $2,000.

  • 1 to 20 pounds: A violation of this amount is a class C crime. The court sentences such offenders to a five-year jail term and fines of up to $5,000.

  • Above 20 pounds: Possession of cannabis over 20 pounds is a class B crime. The penalty is ten years of incarceration with a maximum fine of $20,000.

P.L. 2017 of Maine Revised Statute stipulates that it is illegal to share or sell cannabis without a license. Possession with intent to distribute marijuana attracts a jail term of up to one year and a fine of $2,000.

A person commits a marijuana trafficking offense if they intentionally sell and distribute marijuana. Maine trafficking marijuana laws stipulate the following penalties for violation:

  • Above 20 pounds: It is a Class B crime with a prison term of 20 years and fines of up to $20,000.

  • 1 - 20 pounds: Trafficking up to 20 pounds of marijuana is a crime with a penalty of 5 years of incarceration and fines not exceeding $5,000.

Is Transportation of Marijuana Legal In Maine?

As stipulated in the Marijuana Legalization Act, persons 21 years or older can legally transport cannabis within the state. Eligible persons can transport a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis or concentrate at a time, not exceeding 5 grams of marijuana concentrate. Also, medical marijuana patients who are at least 18 years and caregivers can possess and transport a maximum of eight pounds of cannabis.

Unless licensed by the state, it is unlawful to distribute marijuana. Some penalties for violation of Maine marijuana distribution laws include:

  • One pound or less: It is a Class D crime. The penalty is a one-year jail sentence and fines of up to $2,000.

  • 1 - 20 pounds: Distributing up to 20 pounds of marijuana attracts a jail term of up to five years and fines not exceeding $5,000.

  • Above 20 pounds: The crime is punishable by incarceration for up to 10 years with a maximum fine of $20,000.

  • Distributing 1- 20 pounds of marijuana close to a school or to a minor is an offense with a penalty of 10 years imprisonment, with fines up to $10,000. The mandatory minimum sentence is two years.

  • Distributing above 20 pounds to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school attracts a 30-year jail sentence and fines up to $50,000. The mandatory minimum sentence is four years.

It is legal for persons above 21 to possess marijuana paraphernalia.

  • Selling marijuana paraphernalia is an offense with a six months jail term and fines of up to $1,000.

  • Selling marijuana paraphernalia to a person under 16 is a class D crime. The offender gets a maximum jail sentence of one year with fines not exceeding $2,000.

  • Placing an advert in the newspaper, handbill, magazine, and other publications for the sale of marijuana paraphernalia is a Class E crime punishable by six months imprisonment and fines of up to $1,000.

Hash and Concentrates

According to Title 17-A of the Maine Criminal Code, the term ''hashish'' refers to marijuana-derived resin and any product like salts or mixtures derived from it. In Maine, adults above 21 years can possess a maximum of 5 grams of cannabis concentrates legally. However, the use of marijuana concentrate in a public space is a civil infraction that attracts a $100 fine. Possession of any quantity of hash is criminal in Maine and attracts a maximum fine of $2,000 and one-year incarceration. Persons caught selling any amount of hashish risk up to five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Also, if an individual uses a minor to sell hash, they risk between two and 10 years of jail time. In addition, the offender faces a maximum of $20,000 fine. Repeat offenders caught selling hashish or selling within 1,000 feet of a school risk a two-year compulsory jail term and a minimum fine of $20,000. Giving any quantity of hash to a minor in Maine is a crime punishable by a minimum one-year prison term and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Is Gifting Marijuana A Crime in Maine?

Adults (21 years and older) can share up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and up to six immature plants or seedlings. However, the transfer must be without remuneration, and the recipient must be up to 21 years. Gifting more than the permitted amount is an offense that attracts a fine of $100. A person is guilty of aggravated furnishing if they give out marijuana to children below 18 years. This crime is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $5,000.

Can I Cultivate Marijuana For Non-Medical Use In My Home?

Yes. Title 28-B Section 1502 of Maine Statutes allows for the home cultivation of recreational cannabis for personal use. Adults (21 years and older) can grow up to three mature plants, twelve immature plants, and any amount of cannabis seedlings for their personal use. However, the cultivation facility must be in the private residence of the user. If the grower uses another person's property, It must be with the written consent of the owner. Cultivation sites must be hidden from public view. The penalty for cultivating cannabis above the legal limit includes:

  • 3 -100 plants: It is a crime with a penalty of one-year imprisonment and fines up to $2,000.

  • 100 - 500 Plants: Cultivating up to 500 plants attracts a jail sentence of 5 years and fines not exceeding $5,000.

  • 500 plants or more: The penalty is incarceration for ten years and fines of up to $20,000.

  • Cultivating up to 500 plants within 1,000 feet of a school or persons with a prior related conviction cultivating up to 500 plants commits a Class B crime. The sentence is ten years imprisonment, two of which are mandatory. The offender may also pay a maximum fine of $10,000.

  • Persons with a prior related conviction, cultivating over 500 plants close to a school, are guilty of a Class A crime. The penalty is incarceration up to 30 years, four of which are mandatory. The courts may impose fines of up to $50,000.

What Is The Legal Implication of Driving Under the Influence Of Marijuana in Maine?

In Maine, driving under the influence of marijuana is an offense, and neither a passenger nor the driver is permitted to use cannabis in a vehicle. Drivers caught using cannabis on the road can be indicted on Operating Under the Influence (OUI) charges and risk minimum fines of $500 and jail time. The amount of fines and length of incarceration depends on whether or not they are repeat OUI offenders. This rule also applies to medical marijuana users.

  • First-time offenders: A fine up to $500, license suspension for 150 days, incarceration for not less than 48 - 96 hours.

  • Second-time offender: 7 - 12 days imprisonment, fines up to $900, license suspension of up to three years, and withdrawing the offender's right to register for a motor vehicle.

  • Third-time offender: It is a Class C crime with 30 - 40 days of jail time and fines between $1,100 and $1,400. The courts suspend the offender's license for six years and their right to register a car. The court may also mandate the offender to attend drug rehabilitation or education courses.

  • Subsequent offense: Persons with more than three previous DUI offenses commits a Class C crime. The penalty is six months imprisonment, fines between $2,100 and $2,500, license suspension of up to 8 years, revoking the offender's right to register a motor vehicle, and participating in a drug treatment or education program.

Medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis are legal in Maine. However, cannabis remains illegal under federal laws. Therefore, consumption on the premises of federal government-owned property, including national parks, federal buildings, playgrounds, campsites, sidewalks, and border crossings, is illegal. Maine law also determines that it is unlawful for persons above 21 to consume cannabis on the premises of a daycare or babysitting center. Public consumption of marijuana attracts a fine of $100.

Confiscation of assets occurs in Maine if the property owner is convicted of manufacturing, cultivating, selling, distributing, or possessing marijuana. Also, Maina law permits the confiscation of any asset, including aircraft, motor vehicle, or vessel used to transport or facilitate the transportation for the possession, sale, distribution, trafficking, or concealment of marijuana. In addition, any monies traceable to the proceeds of illegal marijuana sales or used to facilitate any marijuana violation in Maine are subject to forfeiture.

Medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Maine. However, possessing or cultivating marijuana above the legal limit remains illegal. An individual can get their marijuana violation charges dropped by engaging the services of a skilled defense attorney. The possible remedies for defendants for violating Maine marijuana laws to get their charges dropped include:

  • The search leading to the discovery of marijuana was without the defendant's consent.

  • The marijuana belongs to someone else, and the defendant did not possess the drug. The burden of proof lies on the prosecution to prove the defendant owns the drug or dismiss the case.

  • Law enforcement had problems with the chain of custody, leading to an error in documenting the actual weight of the marijuana at the time of the arrest.

  • For an aggravated trafficking charge in Maine, it is an affirmative defense that the substance distributed was hemp, not marijuana.

  • Law enforcement failed to read the defendant their Miranda rights during the arrest.

  • The arresting officer interrogated the defendant after they asked for their legal representative.

  • Police officers seized the marijuana from a search conducted without a valid warrant.

  • The defense can cooperate with the prosecution, offering valid information to get their sentence reduced, probation in place of jail time, or community service.

Additional Maine marijuana limitations include:

  • Marijuana businesses risk license suspension, revocation, or confiscation of their assets as penalties for violating their license terms.

  • Maine law does not include provisions for medical cannabis use in the workplace. Employers can enact and enforce policies restricting the use of cannabis by employees in the workplace.

  • Medical marijuana patients may face disciplinary actions at work if they engage in work-related activities while under the influence of cannabis.

  • It is unlawful for a cannabis store to sell adult-use cannabis products through a vending machine, online platform, drive-through sales window, or delivery services.

  • Adult-use cannabis stores must verify the age of all purchasers to ensure they are over 21.

  • Only medical marijuana patients may possess edibles. Recreational users must obtain a prescription to purchase edibles.

What is Maine's Cannabis History?

The possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis were considered unlawful in Maine from the 19th to the 21st century. Maine combated the use of recreational marijuana for centuries, eventually prohibiting it in 1913. This allowed illegal peddlers of marijuana to flourish during that period. Maine later decriminalized the possession of minute quantities of cannabis in 1976, making it the third U.S. state to do so.

In 1999, Maine legalized medical marijuana for patients with chronic medical conditions, permitting only licensed physicians to prescribe and administer it. In 2009, voters approved the Question 5 bill, thereby enacting LD 975 - An Act To Establish The Maine Medical Marijuana Act. LD 975 reviewed the conditions that qualify for medical cannabis treatment. It assigned the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to certify non-profit dispensaries and issue patients' medical marijuana cards. The bill also authorizes the DHHS to administer application and renewal fees for medical marijuana cards.

In May 2009, Governor Baldacci endorsed LD 250, decriminalizing cannabis in Maine. LD 250 allowed adults (21 years and above) to legally use and possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Also, it made the taxation and retailing of cannabis in the state legal. Maine became the 9th state in the country to legalize recreational cannabis on November 8, 2016, following the approval of Ballot Question 1. As provided in the statute, Maines municipalities are authorized to limit and ban the activities of marijuana businesses within their jurisdiction. Retail sale of cannabis was slated for February 2018, giving the various agencies in the state four months to set up directives for the cannabis trade. Governor LePage vetoed LD 1719 in January 2017, citing its deviation from federal law. Maine Legislature overrode the veto and enacted LD 1719 on May 2, 2018. On June 27, 2019, Governor Mills endorsed LD 719 (An Act Regarding Adult Use Marijuana) into the Maine Constitution. The retail sale of recreational cannabis officially began on October 9, 2020.

What are Restrictions on Cannabis in Maine?

Despite the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis in Maine, its use is restricted in certain areas and to some people. Furthermore, there are limits on the amount that an individual can possess, purchase or grow at a time. These restrictions include:

  1. Cultivation on land that is easily visible or accessible to the public is illegal. Recreational cannabis growers must take the necessary steps to prevent underage persons from accessing cultivation facilities.

  2. Use or possession of recreational marijuana by persons below 21 years is prohibited.

  3. Operating motor vehicles under the influence of marijuana is unlawful. Both passengers and drivers of vehicles are prohibited from using cannabis on the road.

  4. Sharing cannabis (with or without remuneration) with minors is unlawful. Also, gifting over 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate to another person is prohibited even if the recipient is of legal age.

  5. Ingesting, smoking, or using any form of cannabis in public is illegal.

  6. Moving marijuana into federal properties is illegal.

  7. The use of marijuana on private property designated for daycare or babysitting purposes is unlawful.

  8. Maine residents are prohibited from transporting marijuana across state lines even if marijuana is legal in the destination state.

  9. It is illegal to use marijuana on private property if the owner of the property disapproves.

  10. Government agencies, whether state, county, or local, are prohibited from growing or selling cannabis; neither can they furnish other persons with it.

  11. Maine residents are prohibited from buying cannabis online, through courier services, vending machines, or drive-through sales windows.

  12. Residents are also prohibited from extracting marijuana concentrates at home using harmful chemicals. Also, it is illegal for landlords to intentionally allow tenants to manufacture cannabis concentrates using hazardous chemicals on their properties.

  13. It is illegal for dispensaries to display cannabis and cannabis-derived products openly on their premises.

  14. Medical marijuana patients below 18 years are not permitted to smoke the drug. They are also prohibited from growing marijuana. A caregiver must cultivate the drug on their behalf. However, qualifying patients below 18 years can use cannabis in other forms.

  15. Medical marijuana patients are prohibited from possessing over 8 pounds of harvested cannabis at a time. Also, they are not allowed to share more than 2.5 ounces of harvested cannabis with other patients on the drug. In addition, it is unlawful for medical marijuana patients to store marijuana outside their designated cultivation facilities or allow access to such places unless in cases of emergency.

Maine Marijuana Laws
In this section: