A business usually should purchase seeds locally, since bringing seeds across state or international borders can lead to confiscation and criminal charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, provided the transaction occurs within one of Maine’s actively licensed adult use cannabis stores.
Maine is home to both a medical cannabis program and an adult use industry. The medical program serves patients, while Maine’s adult use industry services consumers 21 years of age and older. Adult use cannabis and medical cannabis may not be dispensed from the same facility. Unless they have changed their license type or have a separate retail facility, existing caregiver retail stores and medical cannabis dispensaries are limited to selling cannabis and cannabis products to patients with valid medical cannabis credentials in their possession.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1501(1)(C)
How old do I have to be to consume cannabis and cannabis products?
In order to possess or use non-medical cannabis in Maine, you must be 21 years of age or older.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1501
Where can I lawfully consume cannabis?
Using cannabis in any form (smoking, eating or vaping) isn’t allowed in public places, including amusement parks, ski resorts, sporting and music venues, state and national parks, campsites, playgrounds, sidewalks and roads, cannabis retail businesses, bars, restaurants and outdoor or rooftop cafes.
So where can you use it? Cannabis use is legal within the confines of private property. Just keep in mind that property owners, landlords, and rental companies can ban the use and possession of cannabis on their premises.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1501(2)(A)
What are the rules around federal property?
Cannabis is legal under State of Maine law. Federally, it is not legal. If you’re on federal property, such as a national park or a border crossing, you can’t even have it in your possession.
See: 21 U.S.C. § 812
What are the laws on driving and cannabis use?
It is illegal to use cannabis in a vehicle. This goes for both the passenger and the driver.
It is also illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. You could be charged with an OUI.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1501(2)(B)(1), 29-A M.R.S. §2411
How much cannabis can I possess?
Adults 21 years of age or older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of cannabis, cannabis concentrate and cannabis products, including no more than 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1501(1)(B)
How many plants can I grow?
Mainers can grow cannabis for personal use. As many as three mature, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings are allowed per resident 21 years of age or older.
These restrictions do not apply to the cultivation of cannabis for medical use by a qualifying patient, a caregiver, a registered caregiver or a registered dispensary as authorized by the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1502(1)
What are some of the rules related to growing cannabis for personal use?
First, keep it out of sight. An adult who chooses to grow plants for personal use must make sure their cannabis is not visible from a public way without the use of binoculars or other visual aid.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1502(2)(A)
Second, make sure it’s locked up. An adult who chooses to grow their own plants must take reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access by individuals under the age of 21.
Finally, make sure the ownership of the plants is clear to law enforcement that may come across them. If you’re growing cannabis for personal use, the plant(s) must be tagged with a legible label that includes your name, driver’s license or state identification card number, and a notation that the plant(s) are being grown as authorized by law.
Connor S. Sample, Jr.
Personal Adult Use: Title 28-B, Section 1502
If the parcel or tract of land you are growing on is owned by someone else, you must have their written permission to grow and care for your plants and include the landowners name on each plant’s label.
See: 28-B M.R.S. §1502(1)(C) and (2)(C)
Delivery & Curbside Pickup
Can a consumer located in a city or town that does not permit adult use retail sales and has not “opted-in” still receive a delivery?
Yes, a consumer who requests delivery to their private residence in Maine may receive an order by delivery regardless of whether their municipality has opted in to permit the operation of adult use stores within their community.
I live in a drug free zone, can I receive a delivery at my private residence?
What is a “primary residence”?
- A private home;
- Mobile home;
- Vacation home;
- Cabin; or
- A dormitory of an educational institution or licensed summer camp;
- Inn, hotel, motel, lodging house, campground; or
- Private and public property including but not limited to schools, parks, parking lots, sidewalks, streets, nonresidential buildings or nonresidential portions of buildings maintained by private or public entities
While I’m on vacation can I get cannabis delivered to my hotel or motel?
No, deliveries to congregate temporary rental facilities like hotels, motels, inns, lodging houses, or campgrounds is not permitted.
How will deliveries to those under age 21 be prevented?
- Delivery staff must be trained by their employer on how to confirm the following before completing a delivery:
- That the person receiving the delivery is the same person that requested the delivery;
- That that person to whom they are delivering is 21 years of age or older as confirmed by review of their photo identification; and
- That the photo identification used to verify the purchaser’s age and identity is authentic and unexpired.
Can I tip my delivery driver?
Yes, nothing in OCP rules or the laws governing the Adult Use Cannabis Program prohibits purchasers from tipping their delivery driver or other cannabis store employees.
Can I pay for my order online?
No, the laws governing the Adult Use Cannabis Program prohibit the use of an internet-based sales platform. Consumers are permitted to “reserve” or “request” their orders online, but payment must be received in-person through a face-to-face transaction after the age and identity of a purchaser has been confirmed.
Can someone in my household receive the delivery on my behalf if they are 21+?
Can someone I designate pick up my order at curbside on my behalf if they are 21+?
Can I get delivered products other than cannabis (i.e., accessories, clothing, novelty, or promotional items)?
Yes, a cannabis store licensee may deliver seeds, seedlings, immature cannabis plants, cannabis and cannabis products as well as other items sold by the cannabis store, as long as such items are not a “tobacco product” as defined in 22 MRS § 1551(3).
What products cannot be sold via delivery?
Items considered a “tobacco product” as defined in 22 MRS § 1551(3) may not be delivered. Additionally, anything not offered for sale at the cannabis store from which the licensee is delivering may not be delivered. (For instance, your delivery driver may not deliver a pizza or alcoholic beverages along side a delivery order for cannabis and cannabis products.)
How much can be delivered at a time?
The same transaction limits that apply to sales inside a brick and mortar cannabis store apply to sales conducted by delivery. Those limits are as follows:
2.5 oz of cannabis; or
A combination of up to 2.5 oz of cannabis and cannabis products; which includes not more than a total of 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, whether that cannabis concentrate is sold alone or as ingredient in edible cannabis products; and
Not more than a sum total of 12 seedlings or immature plants.
There is no limit on the number of seeds a consumer may purchase at one time.
During which hours are deliveries prohibited?
Between the hours of 10 PM and 7 AM, unless retail sales hours are further restricted by the municipality where the cannabis store’s licensed premises are located.
Who can buy medical cannabis?
Only medical patients can buy medical cannabis in Maine. Individuals who have received a patient certification from a medical professional may legally access medical cannabis from a registered caregiver or dispensary. Cards are available to Maine residents only.
Patients visiting Maine from another state may be able to purchase medical cannabis from a registered caregiver or dispensary if they have valid patient identification credentials (like a registry or patient identification card) and their state of residence allows them to use their state-issued credential to purchase medical cannabis in Maine.
What is the difference between a dispensary and a caregiver retail store?
Until recently, dispensaries were required to by nonprofit entities and there was only one per Maine Department of Health and Human Services Public Health District. At present, the most notable difference is that dispensaries can grow an unlimited number of cannabis plants.
How much does it cost to obtain a patient certification?
The cost for a patient certification depends on the medical provider conducting the examination and issuing the certification.
The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program provides patient cards to registered providers. In order to ensure patient access to the program, the State of Maine has never charged medical providers for the cards they provide to qualifying patients.
If an individual is interested in obtaining a medical card, they may wish to have those discussions with their primary care physician or other trusted medical provider. They may find in doing so that they are able to obtain a card at little to no cost to them.
Are temporary/digital/electronic patient certifications valid?
No. Temporary and/or digital medical cannabis patient cards or certifications are not an acceptable form of identification for the purposes of obtaining cannabis for medical use in Maine.
To be a qualifying patient in Maine’s program, among other things, an individual must possess “a valid written certification. ” A written certification is only valid if it is “a document on tamper-resistant paper signed by a medical provider. “. These requirements are written into law and aim to preserve the integrity of the medical cannabis program by reducing the possibility of altering and tampering with valid medical certifications.
The Office of Cannabis Policy provides medical providers with tamper-resistant patient certification paper at no cost.
Where can I find statistical information on the medical program?
You may be interested in reviewing the annual reports or open data of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program.
What do I need to apply for or renew a registry identification card (caregiver, caregiver assistant, dispensary employee, etc.)?
Complete and submit the appropriate medical use application(s). Supplemental instructions can be found for the following:
Among other things, you will need to provide a copy of your Maine-issued driver’s license or identification card as proof of residency. Please review all materials for completeness prior to submission to ensure their timely consideration and processing.
How long does it take to get my caregiver card?
Current law requires the Department to approve or deny an initial application or a renewal within 30 days of receipt. In the case of an approval, a registry identification card must be issued within five days of approval.
The average time frame to approve an application is currently one month.
See: 22 M.R.S. §2425-A
How much do caregiver cards cost?
The cost for a registry identification card varies depending on the number of plants being grown. At most, a registered caregiver may grow 30 mature plants or 500 square feet of mature plant canopy and 60 immature cannabis plants. The application fee for a canopy caregiver is $1,500.
Applications fees corresponding to total plant count with fees growing incrementally by $240.
|Mature Plants||Immature Plants||Fee|
See: 22 M.R.S. §2425-A, 10-144 C.M.R. ch. 122, § 8(C)(1)
Where can I find information on which states authorize their residents to use their medical cannabis credential while visiting Maine?
OCP’s guidance on visiting patients and a list of approved states can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/ocp/medical-use/certification-process/visiting-patients.
Can I conduct sales to a visiting patient who presents a medical cannabis credential and a form of identification from two different states?
No. A visiting medical cannabis patient must possess photographic identification or a driver’s license from the same jurisdiction as their valid medical cannabis credential.
See: 22 M.R.S. §2423-D.
Has there been a change in the law governing how I can cultivate cannabis for qualifying patients?
As of April 26, 2022, PL 2021, ch. 662, An Act To Update and Clarify the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, has been in effect. That law made changes to the definition of “cultivation area” and created definitions for “immature plant canopy” and “mature plant canopy”. These new definitions were integrated into the authorized conduct for registered caregivers detailed in 22 MRS § 2423-A(3)(B) and limited for dispensaries as detailed in 22 MRS § 2428(6)(I).
What is the definition of cultivation area?
22 MRS § 2422(3) defines cultivation area as “an indoor or outdoor area used for cultivation of mature marijuana plants, immature marijuana plants or seedlings in accordance with this chapter that is enclosed and equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by a person authorized to have access to the area under this chapter. A cultivation area may include multiple indoor or outdoor areas, whether contiguous or noncontiguous, on the same parcel or tract of land.”
I’m a caregiver. How many cultivation areas may I maintain?
Per 22 MRS § 2423-A(3)(B), a registered caregiver may maintain up to two cultivation areas – one for mature plant canopy cultivation, and another for the cultivation of immature plant canopy. The location of the registered caregiver’s cultivation areas for immature and mature plant canopy must be disclosed to the department on the caregiver’s application for, or renewal of, a caregiver registry identification card. In accordance with the changes implemented by PL 2021, ch. 662, a registered caregiver may maintain up to two cultivation areas, one for the cultivation of up to 60 immature cannabis plants or up to 1000 square feet of immature plant canopy and a second for the cultivation of up to 30 mature cannabis plants or up to 500 square feet of mature plant canopy.
How many cultivation areas may a dispensary maintain?
In accordance with 22 MRS § 2428(6)(I), registered dispensaries may maintain only one cultivation area, at a location disclosed to the department on the dispensary’s application for, or renewal of, a dispensary registration certificate. Registered dispensaries may cultivate all immature and mature cannabis plants required for the registered dispensary to assist qualifying patients.
What is a qualifying expense?
For the purposes of this application, “qualifying expenses” means legal fees and costs associated with the drafting and adoption of a warrant article or the adoption or amendment of an ordinance. This includes the conduct of a town meeting or election by a municipality that opted to permit the operation of some or all adult use cannabis establishments within the municipality.
Examples of qualifying expenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Attorney’s fees to research, draft and revise cannabis ordinances;
- Staff and contractor time for research and drafting of cannabis ordinances, including staff time and overtime for council/planning board/town meetings;
- Fees associated with providing notice of election and public meetings;
- Staff time, including overtime and stipends, and other associated expenses, for the conduct of town meetings and elections and the tabulation and publication of the results thereof;
- Attorney’s fees associated with development of legal opinions regarding local regulations; and
- Other costs similar to or of the same character of the kinds of expenses listed above.
My town opted-in for medical but not recreational, do we still qualify for reimbursement?
No. At this time reimbursement is only permitted for costs associated with opting in to permit some or all kinds of adult use cannabis establishments to operate within your municipality.
Do towns have to opt-in to all license types to qualify for reimbursement or do towns just need to opt-in to one or more license type?
In order to qualify for reimbursement for qualifying expenses, a municipality must opt-in to permit the operation of at least one of the following kinds of adult use cannabis establishments: cannabis cultivation facilities, products manufacturing facilities, cannabis testing facilities or cannabis stores. Please note that a municipality may submit only one application for reimbursement of qualifying expenses, so if a municipality opts in to only some types of adult use cannabis establishments and submits an application for reimbursement to OCP, the municipality would not be eligible for additional reimbursement of qualifying expenses associated with opting-in to allow additional establishment types at a later time.
What types of receipts will be accepted?
OCP will accept any kind of accounting that is detailed enough for OCP to determine whether the expenses submitted are qualifying expenses as described above. Such an accounting should provide, at a minimum, the following information:
- The goods and/or services paid for (i.e. legal fees, newspaper advertising, overtime for staff to conduct municipal election);
- A note regarding the salience of the goods/services paid for to the opt-in process (i.e. drafting of municipal ordinance, advertising town meeting where warrant article will be voted upon, conduct of municipal election where ordinance amendment was approved); and
- The date of payment.
I don’t know my town’s Advantage Vendor Number. How do I find it?
In order to receive money from the State of Maine your town must be enrolled in the State’s vendor payment system. Once enrolled, each vendor is given unique Advantage Vendor Number. This number is provided by the State’s Procurement Services Office to any vendor working with state offices. If you need assistance in locating your vendor number you can contact the Division of Procurement Services’ Vendor Self Service office directly at 207-624-7340 or our office at [email protected]
How many documents can I upload and in what format?
There is no limit on the number of documents that can be uploaded, but each uploaded document must be less than 30 MB. The following file types can be uploaded through the application portal:
How long will processing my application take?
Applications are processed by our office on a first come, first served basis. The office may temporarily postpone application processing any time the unencumbered balance in the Adult Use Cannabis Public Health and Safety and Municipal Opt-in Fund (“the Fund”) falls below $250,000.
Application processing times can vary greatly based upon the volume and completeness of reimbursement applications received and the availability of unencumbered funds in the Fund. When the available balance of the Fund falls below $250,000 in a fiscal quarter, the office may temporarily postpone processing of reimbursement applications until the Fund is replenished in the next fiscal quarter.
If the office temporarily postpones application processing, it will begin processing applications again on a first come, first served basis when funds are once again available. In determining whether an application for reimbursement is received by OCP within 3 years of opting in, OCP will use the date the application for reimbursement was submitted to OCP, not the date it was processed by OCP.
What happens after we submit our application?
Upon submission, you will receive an e-mail confirming that your application materials were submitted to OCP. OCP staff will then review your municipality’s application materials to ensure completeness.
OCP staff will review your municipality’s ordinance or warrant article to ensure that the municipality did, in fact, opt-in to permit the operation of adult use cannabis establishments within the municipality. Please ensure that the ordinance or warrant article submitted includes the effective date of the ordinance or warrant article.
OCP staff will review the accounting and any supporting documentation to determine whether all expenses reimbursed are qualifying expenses. We will reach out if it requires additional information to determine whether certain expenses are qualifying expenses.
OCP staff may determine certain expenses are not considered qualifying expenses and will provide the municipality with an opportunity to provide additional information to establish that the expenses are qualifying expenses.
If OCP determines that certain expenses submitted for reimbursement are not qualifying expenses, OCP will notify the municipality of the total amount of the expenses submitted that are considered qualifying expenses, as well as a list of those expenses not considered qualifying expenses.
Once OCP staff determines that your municipality is eligible for reimbursement for some or all the qualifying expenses submitted, you will receive an e-mail informing you that the municipality’s application has been approved for reimbursement.
Once approved, the municipality will receive reimbursement through the Advantage ID # submitted in the application materials.
We have opted-in for one kind of adult use license (e.g. only cultivation, manufacturing, testing, or sales); can we apply again for additional reimbursement if we opt-in for additional license types in the future?
A municipality may only apply for reimbursement of qualifying expenses once. The municipality may apply for reimbursement for any qualifying expenses (up to a total of $20,000 in qualifying expenses) within three years of passing or amending an ordinance or passing a warrant article. A municipality may apply for reimbursement of all qualifying expenses incurred through the process of developing or amending the ordinance or warrant article submitted as proof that the municipality opted in to permit adult use cannabis establishments within the municipality.
If a municipality has opted in to one license type (e.g. cultivation) more than three years ago, it may submit for reimbursement of qualifying expenses associated with a successful opt-in of a separate license type (e.g. retail).
My town opted-in before 2022, can we still apply?
A municipality may apply for reimbursement of qualifying expenses if the municipality completed the opt-in process within three years of applying for reimbursement. However, a municipality may not submit an application for reimbursement of qualifying expenses more than three years after the municipality adopts a warrant article or adopts or amends an ordinance authorizing the operation of some or all adult use cannabis establishments within that municipality.
Do certain applications get priority over others?
No. OCP processes applications for reimbursement on a first come, first served basis. However, reimbursement of qualifying expenses may be delayed if the application is incomplete or OCP requires additional information from the applicant to determine eligibility.
I forgot to upload all the receipts for my application, what should I do?
Please contact Directory of Special Projects Tracy Jacques at [email protected] to determine how to submit any incomplete documentation.
Where do the funds used for reimbursement originate?
The Adult Use Cannabis Public Health and Safety and Municipal Opt-in Fund is funded by excise and sales tax revenues generated by the transfer and sale of adult use cannabis in accordance with 28-B MRS § 1101 and 36 MRS §§ 1818 and 4925.
Can I use cannabis if I am on probation?
For individuals on probation, there are rules and restrictions for cannabis that must be followed. Contact a probation officer to find out more.
Does Maine track and trace (seed-to-sale) cannabis products?
Maine requires the tracking and tracing of cannabis and cannabis products in our adult use program. OCP is in the process of deploying a software solution with Metrc to allow licensees and registrants to enter their information.
Can I travel outside of Maine with cannabis?
It’s illegal to leave Maine with any cannabis products—medical or recreational. Do not cross state lines or approach border crossing with cannabis in your possession. Mailing cannabis from Maine is also illegal.
See: 21 U.S.C. § 812, CBP Statement on Canada’s Legalization of Marijuana and Crossing the Border
Why does OCP use the term ‘cannabis’ instead of ‘marijuana’?
Cannabis is the legal term used in Maine law to describe the product and establishments we regulate and license.
Buying Cannabis Seeds
While some cannabis businesses focus on selling pre-processed products, others involve growing plants from seeds. States often allow their citizens to grow a certain number of marijuana plants for personal use without getting a license. However, commercial cannabis cultivation generally requires getting a license from the state and sometimes local regulatory authorities. Depending on the location and the scale of the operation, this process may be straightforward or exhaustive, but it is critical to comply with all applicable rules to ensure that your business operates within the law.
Rules frequently change in the cannabis industry as it continues to evolve. Moreover, operating in an industry that remains illegal under federal law can create pitfalls of which business owners should be aware. If you have questions about entering the area of cannabis cultivation, you may want to consult an attorney who has advised similar businesses.
Some people purchase these seeds for purposes unrelated to the cultivation and sale of marijuana. Traditional legitimate uses of cannabis seeds include bird food and fish bait. A state may allow its citizens to purchase cannabis seeds for these purposes, even if it does not allow them to purchase seeds for marijuana cultivation.
Purchasing Cannabis Seeds in Your State
A cannabis cultivator should try to buy seeds in their state if they can. For example, they should be able to get seeds from a seed company or dispensary. The cost tends to vary dramatically depending on the quality of the seeds. While some ordinary strains may cost less than $100, higher-quality strains may cost several hundred dollars. A purchaser of cannabis seeds should make sure that they buy seeds from a fully licensed and authorized provider, even if this results in greater costs. Employees or managers of a seed company or dispensary may be able to advise a purchaser on any legal compliance issues.
Purchasing Cannabis Seeds Outside Your State
If their state does not offer ideal options for purchasing cannabis seeds, a grower might consider purchasing them in another state that permits these transactions. However, the grower might face problems in bringing the seeds to their state. This is because the federal government still criminalizes marijuana. One of the federal marijuana crimes involves transporting the drug or substances related to it (such as seeds) across state lines, even if both the origin state and the destination state have legalized cannabis activities. Federal prosecutors do not often charge this crime in connection with marijuana businesses, but the risk remains.
Some cannabis cultivators even consider purchasing their seeds outside the US, such as in the Netherlands or another nation with a strong foothold in the international marijuana industry. When the seeds arrive in the US, though, immigration authorities likely will confiscate them because bringing marijuana-related substances into the US violates federal law. The law of the state where the flight arrived makes no difference to this outcome.
Some cannabis cultivators prefer to buy their seeds online through a seed bank. State law may permit online purchases and shipping, but again the cannabis seeds might be confiscated during transit. In rare situations, a cannabis cultivator might even face criminal charges under federal law. Enforcement in this area tends to be unpredictable and subject to frequent, radical policy changes.