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Can You Grow Weed in Maine?

Medical and recreational marijuana may not be sold from the same facility in Maine.
RXD Co Website Blog Post Poster MAINE
April 16, 2024 • 4 Min Read
By Alison Lucek
Understanding Cannabis Legislation in the Pine Tree State

Maine has been a pioneer in cannabis legislation—third in the country to legalize medical use and ninth in the nation to legalize recreational use.

Though both medical and recreational cannabis use are legal, “Vacationland” forbids mixing business with pleasure: medical and recreational marijuana may not be sold from the same facility in Maine.

Known for its prolific white pines, weed also grows strong in the Pine Tree State with Mainers 21+ allowed as many as six mature, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings for personal use.

While both of Maine’s cannabis use programs have expanded over the years since legalization, the cannabis landscape of the Pine State continues to evolve and is poised for additional reform in 2024.

Weed in the Pine Tree State:
2024 Cannabis Law & Reform in Maine

In 1976, Maine became the third state to decriminalize small cannabis possessions, eliminating arrest and jail time for simple personal use marijuana possession. Since that early decriminalization ruling, the Pine State has continued to pioneer cannabis legislation.

With approval of medical marijuana for qualifying patients in 1999 it became the sixth state in the country to legalize cannabis for medical use. A decade later it expanded medical use, permitting patients to use and cultivate cannabis without the threat of civil and criminal penalties and in 2002, Maine created a pilot program to implement the Medical Marijuana Act of 1999. In 2009 the state voted again on An Act to Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act to further expand the existing medical marijuana law and assign the Maine Department of Health & Human Services to certify non-profit dispensaries and issue qualifying patients’ medical marijuana cards.

Then on November 8, 2016, Mainers voted in favor of Ballot Question 1 and secured the state’s place among the first ten (9th) in the country to legalize recreational cannabis use, cultivation, taxation, and retail sale. After several amendments to both adult-use and medical marijuana in the state legislature during 2018, an Act Regarding Adult Use Marijuana was signed into law in June of 2019 and retail sales of recreational marijuana officially began on October 9, 2020.

Since the inception of adult-use sales from which the state has collected over $500 million in tax revenue, Maine’s regulatory framework continues to evolve. Updates have included everything from expanding medical caregiver cultivation, product safety standards, delivery of adult-use marijuana, to reductions in drug offense restrictions but there are still justice and liberty issues that remain in the state’s current cannabis laws. Several cannabis policy bills including employment and non-discrimination protections, expungements, and on-site consumption, measures that were removed from the originally approved “people’s law” in 2016, have been introduced in the 2024 state legislature. As issues are currently being debated, this year could be another big moment for continued reforms.

White Pines Aren’t the State’s Only Green:
Cannabis Cultivation in Maine
Though municipalities can opt-out of allowing home cultivation (so check your local regulations), under the Maine Marijuana Legalization Act, adults 21 years and older are permitted to use and cultivate marijuana for either recreational or medical purposes at their private residence or with written permission, on another adult’s property.

Mainers of legal age can have any number of seedlings, grow a maximum of six mature and twelve immature cannabis plants for personal use, and may possess all the marijuana they have grown themselves. Those who have prior convictions in violation of cultivation laws, a marijuana charge Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or furnishing cannabis to a minor are prohibited from cultivating marijuana in Maine and growing more than the state allowance of cannabis plants is punishable with imprisonment and fines.

Cannabis Purchase & Possession in Maine

Though both medical and adult-use cannabis purchase and possession are legal in Maine, sales of recreational and medical marijuana are segregated. Medical cannabis and recreational use cannot be sold by the same dispensary so know where you are going! While there is a hefty 10% sales tax on retail cannabis sales, with some revenue funding state education and relief programs, medical cannabis patients are exempt from paying taxes.

With a government-issued ID showing proof of age 21+, adults in the state of Maine may purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower or mixed marijuana products including concentrate and edibles, but this total may include no more than 5 grams of marijuana concentrate.

Medical marijuana may be purchased by Maine residents who hold a medical card, as well as by visitors from out-of-state who can present valid patient identification credentials. Medical caregivers and patients are lawfully permitted to possess up to 8 pounds of harvested cannabis.

Smoking weed for any reason in public is illegal and may fetch a $100 fine; consumption is only allowed on private property. The unauthorized possession, sale, cultivation, distribution, and trafficking of marijuana in Maine are crimes subject to jail time and fines, each dependent on the severity of the violation. As cannabis is still a controlled substance under federal law, it is illegal to transport cannabis across state lines or consume on federally owned property including parks.

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