Maine’s Democratic Governor, Janet Mills, on Thursday signed legislation finalizing regulations governing the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults.
With the passage of the new rules, it is estimated that marijuana retailers may be operational by March 2020.
Under the rules, commercial licenses will initially (until 2021) be granted only to state residents. State employees, active members of law enforcement, those with felony drug convictions, and those who have been denied licenses in other states are ineligible to participate in the retail cannabis industry.
The regulations impose limits with regard to THC content and the appearance of cannabis-infused edible products. Retailers will not be permitted to sell customers more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and/or five grams of concentrate in a single day. Retailers will need to first receive local approval prior to applying for a state operator’s license.
Maine voters initially approved the legalization of cannabis sales in November 2016, but lawmakers – led by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage – repeatedly took steps to delay the law’s implementation.
“Over the course of the last several months, my Administration has worked quickly to implement the law regarding Maine’s adult-use recreational marijuana market as Maine voters asked the state to do two and a half years ago,” said Governor Mills. “The rule development demonstrates what can be accomplished when state government works with lawmakers, industry stakeholders, and the public to accomplish a shared goal. With this law, we are one step closer to honoring the will of Maine voters.”
Governor Mills has previously signed legislation into law this session explicitly permitting the retail sales of hemp-derived CBD products (LD 630), and allowing those with out-of-state medical cannabis registration cards to access Maine dispensaries (LD 538).