In November 2016, Mainers passed the Marijuana Legalization Act, or Ballot Question 1. The new law permits adults ages 21 and older who are not participating in the state’s medical marijuana program to legally grow, possess, and use specified quantities of cannabis. The recreational program would also establish licensing and tax regulations for commercial cannabis production and retail sales. Recreational sales were set to begin 40 days following the passage of ballot Question 1. However, recreational sales have been put on hold following a moratorium.
In 2016, Maine became the eighth state to legalize cannabis for adults, establishing a regulated cannabis market similar to alcohol. The commercial sale of cannabis, however, remained illegal outside of the medical market until April 2018, due to the moratorium placed on the adult-use market by the Marijuana Implementation Legislative Committee.
Maine has allowed doctor recommendations, and limited possession, of medical cannabis since 1999. On November 2, 1999, Maine Medical Marijuana for Specific Illnesses, or Ballot Question 2, passed with 61% of voters in favor, legalizing medical marijuana for patients suffering from serious health conditions.
In 2009, voters passed by nearly 59 percent in favor of the Maine Medical Marijuana Initiative, or Question 5, which expanded the state’s existing program and decriminalized cannabis possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces (2.5 oz), or 70.87 grams.
Question 5 officially established the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP), creating a system of nonprofit dispensaries and cultivators giving patients and caregivers better access to treatments. The MMMP will be regulated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Where is it Safe to Purchase?
Registered patients must designate a dispensary or a caregiver to cultivate cannabis for purchase. Patients have the option of purchasing medical cannabis directly from a registered caregiver or dispensary, or may choose to cultivate cannabis on their own property or a designated, secure cultivation site. Recreational sales for adults over 21 are currently on hold.
The commercial sale of cannabis, however, remains illegal outside of the medical market. There is no tax on the sale or purchase of cannabis for medical use. Once retail sales begin, recreational-use cannabis will be subject to a ten percent (10%) state sales tax.
Where is it Safe to Consume?
Cannabis consumption must take place in a private space. It is illegal to consume cannabis or cannabis-infused products in public. Consumption of cannabis in a parked car or in public view is also prohibited.
Driving a motor vehicle, boat, or vessel under the influence of cannabis is illegal and consumption in a vehicle is not allowed, neither while driving nor while riding as a passenger.
Under MMMP regulations, qualified patients and their designated caregivers can possess no more than six (6) mature plants and up to two-and-a-half ounces (2.5 oz), or 70.87 grams, of dry flower. Additionally, qualified patients and their designated caregivers may also possess an incidental amount of marijuana, including up to 12 nonflowering plants and eight (8) pounds of harvested, unprepared flower.
Adults 21 and older years may grow up to six (6) mature plants and possess two-and-a-half ounces (2.5 oz), or 70.87 grams.
Gifting and transferring marijuana is not allowed.
to Be to Consume?
Medical Marijuana Registry
To participate in the MMMP, qualifying patients must meet certain requirements in accordance with DHHS rules and regulations and be added to the registry. There is no application fee for the MMMP. Patient identification cards are not required and are free of charge. MMMP registry identification cards expire after one year, and must be renewed by both the qualifying patient and designated caregiver.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obtain a written certification from a certified physician
- Submit completed MMMP application
- Designate a dispensary, if necessary
- Designate one or two primary caregivers, if necessary
- Indicate whether patient will cultivate cannabis for their own medical use or designated a caregiver for cultivation
Qualifying patients may designate one person, hospice provider or nursing facility to assist the patient with medical use of marijuana. Caregivers must apply and register with the State and receive an ID card before they can possess or cultivate marijuana. A person cannot be a caregiver for more than five (5) patients or posses more than six (6) plants per patient. Under certain circumstances, a patient may also designate a second primary caregiver.
A caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and may not have been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense. MMMP registry identification cards expire after one year, and must be renewed by both the qualifying patient and designated caregiver.
Each primary caregiver must have a designation form signed and dated by the qualifying patient in order to submit an application for a registry identification card.
MMMP registry identification cards expire after one year, and must be renewed by both the qualifying patient and designated caregiver. Additionally, there will be a $31 fee applied to each application to conduct background checks for each designated caregiver, annually. There is a $300 fee per patient if the designated caregiver will be cultivating marijuana on behalf of a qualifying patient. Caregivers may receive reasonable compensation for the costs of their services as well as any costs associated with cultivating marijuana on behalf of the patient.
Visiting patients with an equivalent medical marijuana ID issued by another state may also participate in the MMMP.
Maine has not adopted state-mandated cannabis testing regulations.
This page was last updated on May 17, 2018.