Regulatory framework for Maine’s recreational cannabis industry signed by Governor

Maine's new recreational cannabis rules will go into effect in September

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

The Governor of Maine has signed the state’s recreational cannabis industry rules into law. Following a successful vote in November 2016 that completely legalized weed for adult-use and sale, the Democratic state is finally pushing ahead with the establishment of a recreational market.

Back in 2017, Maine State Legislature approved an emergency proposal, titled: “An Act To Change the Oversight Agency for Recreational Marijuana from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations and To Allocate Funds for Implementation.”

The measure otherwise known as ‘LD 243‘  granted the state the necessary funding to kickstart its recreational cannabis industry. Now, here we are in 2019 and Maine’s adult-use cannabis market is finally being launched. However, the rules for the state’s new industry will not go into effect until September.

Gov. Mills prepared a 74-page rulebook on Maine’s recreational cannabis rules
(Pictured) Governor of Maine, Janet Mills

She might have only assumed her position in-office in January, but Gov. Mills has been working hard to ensure Maine’s cannabis consumers have access to legal weed sooner rather than later. She established the Office of Marijuana Policy, which churned out a 74-page rulebook of regulations for Maine’s adult-use cannabis industry within three months of its inauguration. 

Included in the rules is information pertaining to how much cannabis an individual can grow, sell and purchase in Maine. Strict residency rules were composed by the Office of Marijuana Policy; under the requirements, adults aged 21 or above can cultivate a maximum of three flowering cannabis plants at a time. 

Only medical cannabis dispensaries are currently open to consumers in Maine

Until Maine’s recreational cannabis rules go into effect, customers will be limited to buying cannabis from medical dispensaries. Of course, in order to do this, they must meet the state’s eligibility criteria for patients. 

Once the rules go into effect this coming September, adults in Maine will be allowed to buy 2.5 ounces of cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries, but they will not be able to consume it in public. Doing so means that they run the risk of being fined or facing jail time, depending on the circumstances.

Although it will be illegal to conduct cash transactions outside of a dispensary setting, consumers will have the option to transfer weed amongst friends.  The rules state that, so long as no money is passed between hands or bank accounts in the process, it is legal for adults to transfer a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis to another adult.

Read the provisionally adopted rules for Maine’s adult-use cannabis industry here.