No. The Maine Marijuana Legalization Act does not allow the delivery of marijuana products to recreational users in the state. However, the provisions of Chapter 558-C of the Maine Revised Statutes (the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act) allow licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to deliver cannabis products to registered patients. Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under the US Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, regardless of its use (medical or recreational), weed cannot be delivered through the US Postal Services, which is a federal agency. The delivery of cannabis products in Maine is only legal when carried out by medical marijuana dispensary employees. Third-party carriers cannot convey marijuana products to patients in the state.
Edibles are food products, such as gummies, chocolates, lozenges, beverages, and brownies that have been infused with cannabis. The provisions of Title 28-B, Section 703 of the Maine Revised Statutes permit the production and sale of marijuana edibles in the state for sale to recreational users 21 years or older. Per Title 28-B, Section 703(1)(F) of the Maine Revised Statutes, edibles cannot contain over 10 milligrams of THC (the primary active component of weed) per serving. Each package of edibles sold in Maine cannot have over 100 milligrams of THC.
Although recreational marijuana users in the state can buy and consume edibles, they cannot transport such products across state lines. The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) states that it is illegal to take marijuana products across state lines because marijuana is illegal federally. Persons caught taking edibles across state lines in Maine could be charged with civil penalties in line with Title 21, Section 844a of the United States Code. They could face up to one-year imprisonment and $1,000 minimum fines for first convictions. For second convictions, offenders could serve 15 days mandatory minimum sentences with maximum jail terms of two years and up to $2,500 in fines. A subsequent conviction for carrying edibles across state lines could attract a maximum jail term of three years (with 90-days of the sentence being mandatory) and a $5,000 fine.
Dismissing a marijuana drug trafficking charge in Maine requires an understanding of state and federal drug trafficking laws. A person charged with marijuana trafficking may look for ways to establish that the search, which led to the discovery of the marijuana products, was not executed legally. Also, if a person with such charges can prove that the cannabis product found on them was not theirs, they may get the charges dismissed. In a case where the evidence against a defendant is difficult to disprove, they may enter a plea bargain to reduce their sentence. The charges defendants could face for other drug trafficking charges in Maine are different but may be less severe.
As defined in Title 17-A, Section 1101(17) of the Maine Revised Statutes, drug trafficking is the unlawful manufacture, creation, cultivation, movement, possession, exchange, delivery, or sale of a controlled substance. The provisions of Title 17-A, Section 1103(3) of the Maine Revised Statutes state that an offender can be charged for drug trafficking for merely possessing over 1 pound of cannabis products. Generally, misdemeanors are less serious crimes punishable by up to one-year imprisonment, whereas felonies are serious crimes punishable by over one-year imprisonment. The Maine Revised Statutes no longer categorizes crimes as misdemeanors or felonies but groups them into classes based on severity. The penalties for marijuana trafficking outlined in the Maine Revised Statutes carry punishments that surpass one-year jail terms.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) monitors drug trafficking federally, while the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) monitors drug trafficking at the state level. A Maine drug threat assessment report published by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) states that weed is the most commonly abused drug in Maine. According to this report, marijuana is mostly trafficked into Maine using campers and package delivery services from the state’s Southwest border. According to FBI arrest reports, Maine recorded 825 arrests for marijuana-related offenses in 2018. This figure decreased to 590 arrests in 2019 and 268 in 2020.
The provisions of Title 17-A, Section 1103(3) of the Maine Revised Statutes stipulate that illegally carrying over 1 pound (approximately 453.6 grams) of marijuana products is considered trafficking. So, offenders do not have to be caught distributing marijuana before being charged for weed trafficking in Maine. The Maine Criminal Code, contained in Title 17-A of the Maine Revised Statutes, classifies controlled substance trafficking into two major categories - unlawful trafficking and aggravated trafficking. Marijuana trafficking crimes are also grouped based on these classifications. Per Title 17-A, Section 1103 of the Maine Revised Statutes, unlawful marijuana trafficking is the deliberate possession, delivery, or transportation of cannabis products. On the other hand, aggravated trafficking is the trafficking of marijuana products when specific exacerbating circumstances apply, such as the involvement of a minor, use of a firearm, or a previous drug trafficking charge.
According to Title 17-A, Section 1103 of the Maine Revised Statutes, intentionally carrying 20 pounds or more of cannabis products is considered unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs punishable by a class-B crime penalty. An offender could face up to ten years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Cultivating 500 or more cannabis plants is also unlawful trafficking of a controlled substance for which offenders can face class-B crime punishments. Carrying over 1 pound but less than 20 pounds of cannabis products is a class-C crime in Maine, punishable by up to five years jail term and a $5,000 fine. Also, if an offender unlawfully cultivates 100 or more marijuana plants, they could be charged for drug trafficking punishable by a class-C crime penalty (a $5,000 fine and up to five years imprisonment). Repeat offenders and those who solicit minors (persons under 18 years of age) to traffic marijuana products could be charged for aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs and punished in line with Title 17-A, Section 1105-A of the Maine Revised Statutes.
Trafficking 20 pounds or more of marijuana products with the help of a minor in Maine is aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, a class-A crime punishable by up to 30 years incarceration and a $50,000 fine. Repeat offenders and those who use firearms to traffic 20 pounds or more of cannabis products risk facing class-A crime penalties of 30 years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines. Per Section 1105-A(1)(4) of the Maine Revised Statutes, an offender who uses a minor to traffic over 1 pound but less than 20 pounds of cannabis could be charged for aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs. If convicted, they could face class-B crime punishments of up to ten years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Repeat offenders, traffickers who use minors, and who carry firearms while conveying 1 pound to less than 20 pounds of cannabis products are guilty of class-B crimes punishable by ten years imprisonment and $20,000 fines.
Maine does not issue cannabis transportation licenses to businesses, but the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act makes it legal to transport marijuana products in the state for recreational use. According to Title 28-B, Section 505 of the Maine Revised Statutes, licensed recreational marijuana establishments may transport cannabis products between their premises and other licensed cannabis establishments. To obtain a recreational cannabis cultivation facility, manufacturing facility, or dispensary facility license, an applicant must obtain:
As stated in Title 28-B, Section 701 of the Maine Revised Statutes, marijuana products sold in the state must be packaged in opaque, child-resistant, tamper-evident containers. Also, the labels of cannabis products must provide the following information: