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 Freedman & Koski 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 makes several changes to the MLA and, most importantly, authorizes OMP to proceed with final adoption of adult use rules. This legislation goes into effect on September 19, 2019; however, retail sales are unable to take place until rulemaking is completed and marijuana establishments are licensed.
OMP is currently on schedule to begin accepting adult use business applications by the end of 2019.