Maine voters approved the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of marijuana in November 2016. During the 128th Legislature, a 17-member legislative committee was convened to overhaul the Marijuana Legalization Act (MLA) passed by voters. Following two legislative rewrites of the MLA and two gubernatorial vetoes, LD 1719 — An Act To Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana — became law on May 2, 2018.
Since the inauguration of Governor Janet Mills in January 2019 and the corresponding establishment of the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) in February 2019, the State of Maine has been working to develop the rules required by the MLA and honor the will of Maine voters.
In March 2019, OMP contracted with Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (formerly Freedman & Koski in partnership with Advocates for Human Potential) to provide consulting services related to marijuana rulemaking. A month later, the first draft of Maine’s adult use rules were released for public review and comment. In May 2019, the Office formally proposed rules to govern Maine’s adult use program and submitted provisionally adopted rules to the 129th Legislature on June 5, 2019. Governor Mills signed LD 719—An Act To Amend the Adult Use Marijuana Law—on June 27, 2019. LD 719 made several changes to the MLA and, most importantly, authorized OMP to proceed with final adoption of adult use rules.
OMP is currently engaged in licensing adult use marijuana establishments through the process required by the MLA and program rule.
The first active adult use establishment licenses — including the first cultivation licenses — were issued on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. For the purposes of the limited authorization for sale of marijuana plants and marijuana seeds by a registered caregiver or registered dispensary to a cultivation facility licensee, the date that is two years from that day is Thursday, September 8, 2022.