Voters in Maine authorized one of the first regulated medical marijuana retail systems through a ballot initiative in 2009. Six dispensaries received approval to operate in 2010, increasing to 8 by 2016. Also in 2016, Maine voters approved Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Act.
Implementation of the adult use, or recreational use, ballot measure has been delayed in large part due to the efforts of conservative Governor LePage. In May 2018, the Maine legislature overturned the Governor’s second veto of laws intended to implement the Marijuana Legalization Act, approving the next steps towards the availability of adult use marijuana in retail stores.
Regulations are unlikely to be reviewed or approved until at least January 2019. Local jurisdictions will have the authority to ban or restrict adult use retail stores.
Maine is not accepting marijuana license applications at this time.
The projected market in Maine, with recreational sales, could exceed $300 million annually, according to New Frontier Data. However, with the introduction of personal cultivation in 2017 and confusion over adult use legalization, sales and patient numbers declined to $24.5 million (9% decline) and 41,858 (18% decline), respectively.
Under the existing medical program, qualifying patients may designate registered dispensaries to cultivate up to six medical marijuana plants on their behalf. The structure for the adult use system is yet to be determined.
Content updated July 18, 2018.