Maine: Lawmakers Finalize Rules For Retail Marijuana Sales

Augusta, ME: Maine lawmakers have finalized rules and regulations governing the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. The proposed guidelines now await action from Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who is expected to sign the provisions into law.

Under the proposed rules, commercial licenses will initially (until 2021) be granted only to state residents. State employees, active members of law enforcement, those with felony drug convictions, and those who have been denied licenses in other states are ineligible to participate in the retail cannabis industry.

The regulations impose limits with regard to THC content and the appearance of cannabis-infused edible products. Retailers will not be permitted to sell customers more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and/or five grams of concentrate in a single day. Retailers will need to first receive local approval prior to applying for a state operator’s license.

Maine voters initially approved the legalization of cannabis sales in November 2016, but lawmakers – led by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage – repeatedly took steps to delay the law’s implementation.

Once the proposed rules are signed into law, it is estimated that that cannabis sales could begin by March 2020.

Governor Mills has previously signed legislation into law this session explicitly permitting the retail sales of hemp-derived CBD products (LD 630), and allowing those with out-of-state medical cannabis registration cards to access Maine dispensaries (LD 538).

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500.