Yes. Maine requires testing for marijuana and marijuana products intended to be sold to consumers and other marijuana business licensees pursuant to the Rule for the Certification of Marijuana Testing and Facilities. Any testing for marijuana in Maine is expected to show the levels of contaminants or impurities in the marijuana or marijuana product sample tested. The purpose of testing is to ensure that the amount of contaminant in a sample is not beyond the permitted level and is not considered injurious to health.
Statutory guidelines for testing adult-use marijuana and marijuana products in Maine are contained in Subchapter 6 of Title 28-B of the Maine Revised Statutes. The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) considers marijuana testing of enormous importance, considering that cannabis plants typically soak up impurities from cultivation to harvesting.
Heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins may be absorbed into the cannabis plant throughout its development, and the inherent moisture content of cannabis tissues can promote the proliferation of hazardous microbes. Contaminants constitute a concrete danger to users' health, and thorough testing is the only method to safeguard their health. Additionally, testing enables marijuana businesses to offer precise information about the strength and potency of their products, allowing for measurable doses and predictable effects on users.
The OMP requires that the following tests be conducted for all marijuana products before being sold or transferred to consumers or marijuana business licensees in Maine:
Yes. Maine issues marijuana testing laboratory certifications to independent marijuana testing facilities in the state. According to an annual report of the Maine State Legislature published in 2020, no testing facilities applied for a marijuana testing facility as of December 31, 2019. The state expected at least three, possibly four, marijuana testing facilities to be in operation at the end of 2020. As of April 2022, Maine has three active and two conditional marijuana testing facility licensees.
According to 18-691 C.M.R. Ch. 5., a marijuana testing facility must demonstrate ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation before the CDC may issue a full testing facility certification for the establishment to operate in the state. The testing facility may apply for full certification for only the testing fields accredited by ISO/IEC 17025:2017 or its most recent version.
ISO/IEC 17025 is a quality management framework and technical competence standard for laboratory testing and calibration services. It applies to establishments or facilities that generate test and calibration results. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-profit organization comprising over 160 national standards organizations. The ISO brings together professionals to share information and produce voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant international standards that stimulate innovation and address global challenges via the work of its members. According to ISO, over 100,000 laboratories worldwide rely on the ISO/IEC 17025 standard as their primary source of laboratory certification.
Accredited laboratories conduct tests in accordance with globally accepted standards (ISO/IEC 17025), and the results are validated by a broad range of government and regulatory agencies. The consensus between ISO/IEC 17025 accrediting organizations stipulates that accredited members' test results must adhere to the same basic quality requirements regardless of the accreditation body. Regular audits are required to ensure that the accredited testing facilities maintain their accreditations.
Following a 2017 amendment to the ISO/IEC, the certification process has been expanded to include five standard requirements. Accrediting bodies will assess laboratories for the following criteria before being granted ISO/IEC 17025 accreditations:
Before a testing facility may obtain a marijuana testing facility license in Maine, the applicant must first obtain certification from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The testing facility must receive from the CDC full or provisional certification for a minimum of one analyte and technology to test marijuana and marijuana products. Section 2 and Section 3 of the Maine Rules for the Certification of Marijuana Testing Facilities contain requirements for obtaining the required certification from the DHHS.
After fulfilling all the required conditions for obtaining a DHHS certification, an applicant may complete the Application form for a Maine Marijuana Testing Facility Certification available on the OMP website. Note that certifications will not be issued until all the relevant fees are paid. There is a base fee of $500 for full certification if the applicant holds an ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 accreditation and Maine provisional certification. The base fee is $1,000 for an applicant with ISO/IEC 17025:2017 certification without Maine provisional certification. A fee of $1,250 is applicable if the applicant currently only holds an approved application submitted for ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 accreditation.
In addition to the base fee, an applicant for DHHS certification will pay $50 per technology per analyte category. The required fee may be paid by check made payable to "Treasurer, State of Maine" and mailed to Diana McKenzie at Maine MTF Certification Program, 286 Water Street, 11 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333. Completed applications may be submitted to:
Maine MTF Certification Program
286 Water Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Phone 1: (207) 287-4758
Phone 2: (207) 287-1929
Fax: (207) 287-4172
After obtaining the requisite certification and accreditation, a marijuana testing facility license applicant will be required to pass through a three-stage process to complete the application process for an active or full license.
Here, the applicant must undergo a criminal record check. Each director, manager, officer, and general partner of the marijuana testing establishment must submit to a criminal record check. A criminal record check may be initiated by scheduling an appointment with the state's approved third-party fingerprinting service provider - IdentoGO.
Subsequently, the applicant and any employee of the marijuana testing establishment must complete the information release form and apply for IICs (Individual Identification Cards) online via the Maine marijuana licensing system. Individual Identification Cards are necessary for all directors, managers, officials, and general partners of the testing facility.
Upon completing the application for an Individual Identification Card, the applicant must complete the conditional license application for a marijuana testing facility. The following are required to be submitted at this stage of the application:
In order to locate and operate a marijuana testing facility in a Maine municipality, the conditional licensee must get authorization from that municipality. In Maine, municipalities have 90 days to respond to such requests. In rare cases, municipalities may grant conditional licensees additional 90 days to get authorizations.
After receiving a request for local authorization, the municipality will assess whether a conditional licensee conforms with all relevant local regulations. If the municipality rules to grant authorization, a completed and notarized local certification form will be submitted by the municipality to the Office of Marijuana Policy. Subsequently, the applicant will be notified of this outcome and informed to proceed to apply for full licensure.
Here, the applicant must complete the Active License Application and submit supplemental information in order to be issued a full marijuana testing facility license. The following supplemental information will be required:
Once the Office of Marijuana Policy finds that all requirements have been met and documents submitted, the Office will invoice the applicant with the relevant fee for a full and active marijuana testing facility license. Money orders or bank checks are the only acceptable forms of payment for the licensing fee. Payment may not be made using a personal check or cash. Upon paying the full license fee, the applicant will receive an active license from the OMP. The Maine marijuana testing facility license is valid for one year from the date of issuance. For more information on obtaining a marijuana testing facility license, visit the Applications and Forms page on the OMP website.
Pursuant to Section 207 of the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act, a marijuana testing facility license costs $1,000. However, an application fee of $250 applies when completing the application for the license. The marijuana testing facility license is renewable annually for a fee of $1,000. However, for a renewal application submitted less than 30 days prior to the current license's expiration date, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services may request an additional $2,500 fee.
Maine permits each municipality in the state to decide its level of participation in the cannabis sector. Municipalities have the authority to restrict the establishment of certain marijuana businesses, practices and hours of operation as well as location in building zones and proximity to public places such as schools and religious institutions. Hence, before the state grants a full license to a marijuana business, the municipality must approve the establishment and operation of the marijuana business within its jurisdiction.
Maine municipal regulations for marijuana testing facilities vary from one locality to another. Hence, it is recommended that you research the specific rules in the municipality where you intend to establish a marijuana testing facility before applying for a marijuana testing facility license.
For instance, the City of Portland has enacted an ordinance containing strict requirements for mitigating odor and any adverse effects of marijuana waste disposal. Also, the City of South Portland does not require marijuana testing facilities to obtain local business licenses in order to operate within the city borders.