Yes. Pursuant to the Marijuana Legalization Act passed in 2016, persons interested in making cannabis products in Maine must obtain marijuana manufacturing licenses. Note that under the Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MUMA), a licensed medical cannabis dispensary in Maine is authorized to manufacture medicinal marijuana for the use of qualified medical marijuana patients only.
Maine does not require cannabis manufacturers to obtain cultivation licenses. The state issues cultivation licenses separately to qualifying persons or entities to authorize them to cultivate marijuana which may be sold to licensed marijuana manufacturers. Hence, a marijuana product manufacturer may purchase the required quantity of marijuana needed for its manufacturing process from a licensed cultivator or another manufacturing establishment holding a marijuana cultivator license.
Although some states in the United States classify their marijuana manufacturing licenses based on the chemicals or extraction methods used in the manufacturing process, Maine makes no such distinction. The marijuana manufacturing license issued in the state permits a licensee to use mechanical extraction, infusion, potentially hazardous extraction methods, and inherently hazardous extraction methods in the marijuana manufacturing process, subject to the limitations outlined in the Administrative Rule for the Maine Adult Use Marijuana Program.
Maine only issues one marijuana manufacturing license. The Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) issues the license as the marijuana products manufacturing facility license. Per Section 502 of the Marijuana Legalization Act, the product manufacturing facility license authorizes the licensee to manufacture adult-use marijuana and adult-use marijuana products for sale or distribution to licensed marijuana stores or other products manufacturing facilities.
Per Section 3.8.5 of the Administrative Rule of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), Maine requires marijuana manufacturers that include edible marijuana products in their operating plan to obtain food establishment licenses pursuant to 22 MRS § 2167. A licensed marijuana products manufacturer in Maine may not share a food establishment with an entity or person who has not obtained a marijuana products manufacturing facility license.
Under Section 502 of the Marijuana Legalization Act, the DAFS may also require a products manufacturing facility licensee to obtain a commercial kitchen license for any area within the manufacturing premises in which adult-use marijuana and adult-use marijuana products are manufactured. In addition, a marijuana products manufacturer establishment must employ a certified food protection manager in accordance with Section 2-102.12 of the Maine Food Code. The employee must have obtained certification from a program assessed and approved by an accrediting agency of the Conference for Food Protection attesting that the establishment conforms to the required food protection standards.
Note that marijuana products manufacturers are prohibited from manufacturing edible marijuana products containing more than 10 milligrams of THC per serving or package for sale edible marijuana products containing more than 100 milligrams of total THC.
The following eligibility requirements apply for persons or entities seeking to obtain marijuana products manufacturer licenses in Maine:
Persons applying for marijuana products manufacturer licenses must submit applications to the The Department of Administrative and Financial Services' Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) through a three-step procedure. The first step is the Conditional Licensure application stage, followed by the Local Authorization stage, and lastly, the Active Licensure application stage. The OMP uses the three-step application process in order to be able to appropriately evaluate a marijuana establishment before it is licensed by the municipality where the facility will be located.
An active license for a marijuana product manufacturing facility can only be obtained after permission from the local municipality has been granted; however, this is typically a significant hurdle to overcome, given that municipalities have the authority to approve or prohibit any or all forms of marijuana establishments within their jurisdictions. Several criteria are included in each of the three steps of the application process, and an applicant is required to complete them all before receiving approval to commence business operations.
To begin the conditional licensure stage, an applicant must consent to a criminal history record check. A criminal history record check may be initiated by scheduling an appointment with IdentoGO, a state-approved third-party fingerprinting service provider. If the applicant is a business entity, each director, manager, officer, and general partner must submit to a background check. The applicant and principals may be fingerprinted at any IdentoGo facility in Winslow, Springvale, Presque Isle, South Portland, Machias, Farmington, Brewer, Belfast, Augusta, or Auburn.
Subsequently, the applicant and any employee of the marijuana manufacturing establishment must complete the release of information form and apply for Individual Identification Cards (IIC) online using the marijuana licensing portal. Individual Identification Cards are required to be obtained by all directors, managers, officers, and general partners of the establishment if the applicant is a business entity.
After completing the ICC application, the applicant may proceed to complete the application for a conditional marijuana products manufacturer license and pay the $250 application fee. Application instructions are published on the OMP website to help applicants ensure submissions are appropriately completed. The following are required to be submitted for conditional licensure:
Within 90 days of receiving an application for conditional licensing, the OMP will either deny the application or issue a one-year non-renewable conditional license.
Upon completing the conditional license stage, the conditional licensee must request permission from the municipality where the facility will be established for approval to locate and operate the manufacturing establishment in that jurisdiction. Municipalities in Maine have 90 days to reply to local authorization requests. However, a municipality may afford a conditional licensee additional 90 days to obtain permission under some circumstances.
Following the submission of a request for local authorization, the municipality will decide whether a potential licensee complies with all applicable local ordinances and whether to grant authorization. Upon approval, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission or the municipality, whichever has authority over the proposed marijuana business site, will submit a signed and notarized local certification form to the Office of Marijuana Policy.
Subsequently, the Office of Marijuana Policy will contact the applicant no later than 10 days after receiving the approved local permission form to request updated documentation and supplementary information on the application.
In the active licensure stage, the Office of Marijuana Policy will require the following supplemental information from an applicant for a marijuana products manufacturer license:
Once all conditions have been met, the Office of Marijuana Production (OMP) will invoice the applicant with the applicable fee for a full and active marijuana products manufacturer license. Money orders and bank checks are the only acceptable forms of payment for the licensing fee. Cash and personal checks are not accepted as forms of payment. Upon paying the full license fee, the applicant will obtain an active license from the OMP. The Maine marijuana products manufacturer license is valid for one year from the date of issuance.
In accordance with the Maine Adult Use Marijuana Program Rule, a marijuana products manufacturer license in Maine costs $2,500. However, a $250 fee applies when submitting the application for licensure. The marijuana product manufacturing license is renewable yearly with a renewal fee of $2,500. Note that for a renewal application submitted less than 30 days prior to the expiration date of the current marijuana products manufacturer license, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services may request a $2,500 fee in addition to the application fee for the renewal application.