Maine Marijuana Possession Laws

Is Possession of Marijuana Legal in Maine?

Possession of marijuana is legal in Maine for recreational and medical uses. In November 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1” to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state. The  Maine Marijuana Legalization Act was subsequently enacted to permit the cultivation and personal use of cannabis. The Act allows adults aged 21 and above to possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana, including no more than 0.2 ounces (5 grams) of marijuana concentrate for personal use. 

Before the legalization of marijuana for personal use, the state had enacted the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act in 1999. The medical marijuana law allowed licensed patients with qualifying medical conditions to use marijuana to treat or alleviate certain medical conditions. The Maine Medical Marijuana program is administered by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS). Qualifying medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer's disease, chronic pain, seizures, and cachexia.

How Much Weed Is a Felony in Maine?

Marijuana possession is legal in Maine, provided it is not more than 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana, including not more than 0.2 ounces (5 grams) of marijuana concentrate for recreational purposes. Factors that determine penalties for violating marijuana laws in Maine include:

  • Age: The Maine Marijuana Legalization Act permits only persons aged 21 years and above to possess and use marijuana. Minors caught with marijuana may be penalized, and adults who give, sell, or transfer marijuana to minors can be prosecuted.
  • Possessing between 16 ounces (454 grams) and 20 pounds (9 kg) of marijuana is a Class C crime punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $5,000. Possession of above 16 ounces (1 pound) of marijuana is presumed to be for trafficking (selling). 
  • Possession of more than 20 pounds (9 kg) is a Class B crime subject to a fine of $20,000 and up to 10 years of incarceration.
  • Location: While recreational marijuana is legal in Maine, residents cannot consume it publicly or on federal property. Using or possessing weed on federal property can result in felony charges. 

What Are the Penalties for 1st Time Offense of Possession of Weed in Maine?

In Maine, marijuana is classified as a Schedule Z drug and can be used in limited amounts by adults aged 21 and above. However, first-time minor offenders face the following penalties:  

  • The possession of up to 1.25 ounces (35 grams) of usable marijuana by minors is punishable with a penalty of between $350 and $600 fine. 
  • A minor carrying between 1.25 ounces (35 grams) and 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana may be punished with a fine of between $700 and $1,000. 
  • A first-time offender may be given a suspended sentence, community service, or a drug education class in place of fines. 

Where to Buy Legal Weed in Maine

Recreational weed can be gotten from licensed adult-use cannabis stores by persons aged 21 years and above. Adult-use cannabis stores in Maine can only sell recreational weed to adults. They must verify the ages of buyers before they can sell to them. 

The Office of Cannabis Policy maintains a list and map of active medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. Medical marijuana patients can buy marijuana from registered marijuana dispensaries with their medical marijuana registry identification cards. They can buy up to 14 days’ worth of their marijuana prescription.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Weed in Maine

Per the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act, you must be 21 years or older to buy weed in Maine. You must also be 21 years or older to consume and smoke marijuana in the state. However, medical marijuana patients under 21 years can buy medical marijuana provided they have valid and current medical marijuana registry identification cards.

How Much Weed Can You Carry in Maine?

Per the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act, adults aged 21 years and above can possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana products and marijuana concentrate, provided the marijuana concentrate is no more than 5 grams (0.2 ounces). 

Medical marijuana patients and their caregivers are also limited to possession of 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana. However, the Medical Use of Marijuana Act allows patients to possess more than the stipulated limits, provided they can justify their need for them and show proof of physicians’ recommendation.

What Happens if You Get Caught With Weed Under 18 in Maine?

Minors (under 21 years) are prohibited from possessing marijuana except if they are registered as medical marijuana patients. 

  • Minors caught with up to 1.25 ounces (35 grams) of usable marijuana face a penalty of between $350 and $600 fine. 
  • Possession of between 1.25 ounces (35 grams) and 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana by a minor is punishable with a fine of between $700 and $1,000. 
  • Penalties for possession of more than 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana by minors are the same as that of adults. 

If the minor does not commit another marijuana possession violation within 12 months after the initial conviction, the court may expunge the record from the minor’s criminal record. On the other hand, if the minor commits another marijuana possession violation within a 12-month period, the court may impose a fine of at least $600. 

Furthermore, minors can be arrested for possessing marijuana paraphernalia such as pipes, bongs, vaporizers, or grinders. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia carries the same penalties as possession of marijuana for minors. 

A court may place a minor on probation or assign community service in addition to or as an alternative to the prescribed fines. Minors convicted of marijuana possession may be denied financial aid for college tuition and may lose their driver's licenses.  

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Have in Maine?

Adults aged 21 and above may cultivate not more than three mature, flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings in a house. They may possess all the marijuana produced by the plants. 

  • The Maine Marijuana Legalization Act mandates that marijuana plants must be kept out of sight from public view. 
  • The marijuana cultivation area must be locked to prevent unauthorized access by minors.
  • Marijuana plants must be tagged with labels indicating the owner’s name, driver's license or state identification number, and a notation that the plants are being grown as authorized by law.
  • Where the marijuana grower is not the owner of the land, the land owner’s consent must be obtained, and their name must be included in the label.
  • Furthermore, the cultivation of more than six marijuana plants and up to 99 marijuana plants is a Class D crime punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and up to $2,000 in fines.
  • Cultivation of 100 or more marijuana plants without a license is subject to penalties of up to 30 years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines.
  • Maine medical marijuana patients and their caregivers may grow up to six mature marijuana plants for medical use. Licensed caregivers can grow marijuana for a maximum of five patients. They can cultivate up to 60 immature marijuana plants and 30  mature cannabis plants for their patients.

How Much Weed Can You Fly With from Maine?

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance with a high tendency for abuse and is illegal at the federal level. It is illegal to leave Maine with marijuana or marijuana products. Therefore, flying with marijuana from Maine to another state is unlawful. Airports in Maine prohibit marijuana on their premises.

Is It Illegal to Be High in Public in Maine?

No, it is not illegal for an adult to be high in public in Maine. However, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Maine. The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety considers marijuana’s high effect as a distraction capable of inhibiting a driver’s decision and judgment

An adult driving under the influence of marijuana may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). A law enforcement officer may subject a driver to a drug test if there is probable cause that the driver has operated a vehicle while impaired. Turning away from a roadblock is a potential cause for administering a drug test in Maine.

  • A DUI conviction for first offenders carries a mandatory 150 days of license suspension, $500 to $2,000 fine, 364 days in prison, or 12 months of probation. 
  • A second conviction is punishable with a minimum of 7 days jail sentence, 18 months license suspension, a $700 fine, and court-ordered drug treatment. 
  • Subsequent convictions are punishable with a minimum of 30 days and up to 5 years imprisonment, up to a $5,000 fine, up to 6 years license suspension, court-ordered drug treatment, and two years of probation. 
  • If a person under 21 years is in the car, an additional 275-day license suspension will be added.
  • Refusal to be tested for drugs results in immediate suspension of license for 275 days and can be used as evidence for DUI.
Maine Marijuana Possession Laws