Maine Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS MAINE'S CURRENT MARKET STATUS?
On the East Coast, Maine has been a pioneer in legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use, legalizing medical cannabis in 1999 and recreational cannabis in 2016, Since 2016, Maine has issued a number of cannabis licenses ranging from cultivation to retail and Maine cannabis businesses have proven to be successful. It’s estimated that by 2022, Maine will have made $300 million in the state’s cannabis industry alone. Currently, there are eight operating dispensaries and in March of 2020 the state issued 31 more licenses. The state is continuing to accept cannabis license applications on a rolling basis.
WHAT ARE MAINE'S CANNABIS LAWS?
In 1999, Maine legalized medical cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions such as terminal illnesses and/or chronic pain and amended that law in 2009 to include more patients and provide them with ways to obtain cannabis legally. The state accepted applications for non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries, and set up eight dispensaries throughout the state.
While the city of Portland legalized recreational cannabis for two years already, in 2016 Maine legalized recreational cannabis for the whole state under the Marijuana Legalization Act, and began accepting applications for cultivation, distribution, and retail licenses. The process of legalization was suspected to take a few years. Recreational sales were planned to start in the Spring of 2020 but have been delayed due to COVID-19. However the state is still accepting license applications. Though delayed, Maine’s cannabis industry looks very promising.
WHAT IS MAINE’S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION?
The application window for recreational cannabis business licenses is still open for Maine. The last licensing round in March 2020 awarded 31 retail licenses in the state. The state also has loosened restrictions for license applications who no longer need to be permanent residents of Maine, however Portland still upholds this requirement. License applications can be found at the Office of Marijuana Policy for the state of Maine’s website.
WHAT IS MAINE’S CANNABIS HISTORY IN MAINE?
Maine, early on in 1976, decriminalized cannabis possession and worked on reforming cannabis criminal charges. Years later, in 1999 Maine legalized medical cannabis, allowing for individuals to apply for medical cannabis cards.. However, people quickly criticized the law as it did not address where these new medical cannabis patients could legally purchase cannabis in the state of Maine.
On November 3, 2009 Maine voters approved Question 5, which enacted the Maine Medical Marijuana Act which outlined the state’s plan and timeline for establishing medical cannabis license application rules. Maine was the fifth state to provide for dispensaries of medical grade cannabis for patients with chronic medical conditions or terminal illnesses. These not-for-profit dispensaries are licensed and regulated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
On November 05, 2013 Portland officially legalized recreational cannabis within city-limits, making it the only city in the state to do so. The state of Maine soon followed in 2016 when lawmakers passed The Marijuana Legalization Act, which permitted adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow and possess personal-use cannabis. The law also allowed licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales with a 10% tax on all products sold.
DOES MAINE HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
Stay tuned for more information on growing hemp in Maine!
PREPARING FOR THE MAINE CANNABIS MARKET
Though dispensary openings have been delayed, the state is still awarding licenses on a rolling basis. Point7 is excited to bring our skill sets to Maine to assist potential operators with the recreational licensing applications. Contact us today at or our Contact page to discuss the preliminary steps you can take now to better prepare yourself for the application process.