Medical Marijuana in Maine
In 1999, Maine became the 4th state to legalize medical marijuana when it enacted §2383-B, and established the Maine Medical Marijuana Program (“MMMP”). However, even though the law allowed prescribing and limited possession of cannabis, it lacked any distribution mechanism.
It wasn’t until 2009, when voters enacted L.B. 2 – L.D. 975, referred to as the Act to Establish the Maine Marijuana Act, that legislation created rules and regulations for the MMMP and established Maine as the 5th state to provide dispensaries of medical grade cannabis for registered patients.
In 2018, LD 1539 amended the original legislation to remove any qualifying conditions and expand patient access by allowing any citizen with a medical marijuana card to use medical cannabis, so long as his/her doctor thinks it would helpful treat his/her ailments.
Recreational Marijuana in Maine
By 2016, Maine became the 8th state to legalize the recreational use, sale, and taxation of cannabis when voters voted Yes to Question 1. Three (3) years later, the Office of Cannabis Policy formally proposed rules to govern Maine’s adult use program. In 2020, Maine’s first recreational cannabis retail stores began operating, allowing adults to purchase cannabis for non-medical use.
Types of Maine Adult Use Cannabis Establishment Licenses
There are five (5) types of licenses obtainable in the State of Maine:
- Cannabis Stores
- Cultivation Facilities
- Products Manufacturing Facilities
- Sample Collectors
- Testing Laboratories
Applications for Adult-Use Marijuana Business Licenses in Maine
Currently, the Office of Cannabis Policy is accepting cannabis business license applications on a rolling basis.
The applicant must apply for each license separately, as per the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Office of Cannabis Policy. The process of becoming licensed in the State of Maine’s adult use cannabis program requires three (3) steps: (i) Conditional Licensure; (ii) Local Authorization; and (iii) Active Licensure.
Step 1: Conditional Licensure. The first step is to apply for and receive a conditional license. This process requires criminal background checks, as well as obtaining a OCP-issued individual identification card (“IIC”) for the applicant and/or employees. Within 90 days, the Office of Cannabis Policy will either deny or issue the conditional license. This license is non-renewable and valid for one year.
Step 2: Local Authorization. The local municipality must authorize and determine that the applicant has satisfied all local regulations and licensing requirements. The municipalities will have 90 days to respond to a request for local authorization.
Step 3: Active Licensure. Supplemental information must be provided to move forward, including: evidence of compliance with all electrical and permitting requirements; appropriate tax information and documents; any changes to original application; and Official Plan of Record – Facility Plan. Upon receipt and approval, an invoice will be rendered and once it is paid, a one-year active license will be issued.
Cannabis Business License Consultant in Maine
Last Updated: July 6th, 2023