Maine voters in 2016 approved a ballot initiative that made recreational marijuana legal in the state. After more than a year of legal wrangling to determine how to implement and regulate legal cannabis sales, Maine became lawful for recreational marijuana use in 2017.
The state Legislature continued to work on proposed laws to regulate legal sales. The Governor in 2019 signed into law the final versions of Maine’s adult use marijuana laws. Now, anyone in Maine who has a valid government-issued ID and is over age 21 can buy marijuana from a licensed dispensary.
The state does give local units the ability to enact local “dry” laws that ban the local sale of marijuana. The local dry law is similar to those for alcohol sales. Any visitors to the state intending to purchase recreational marijuana should check local jurisdictional laws to ensure it is not banned locally.
Maine has one of the lowest effective tax rates on legal marijuana in the nation. The state levies a 10 percent tax on the purchase of marijuana products. The tax does not apply to medical marijuana sales.
Limits on Marijuana Purchases in Maine
It is possible to purchase marijuana flower, concentrate, and edibles from a licensed Maine dispensary. The state allows adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of all products combined. That includes a maximum of 5 grams of concentrate.
Maine does not place a time limit on purchase amounts like some states. While many recreational-legal states will place a maximum amount that could be purchased over a week or two, Maine does not.
The 2.5-ounces, including up to 5 grams of concentrate, limit in Maine applies at all times. It essentially and how often you could purchase more. As long as your next purchase does not put you over the maximum allowed amounts of flower and concentrate, you can buy more.
Medical Marijuana in Maine
Maine’s adult-use laws are different from the state’s medical marijuana laws. Voters in 1999 approved a ballot initiative that made it legal to use marijuana for medical purposes.
If you are a Maine resident and obtain a prescription from a licensed medical professional, you could purchase medical marijuana in Maine. The same 2.5 ounces limit for recreational users applies to medical marijuana prescription holders.
Out-of-State Prescriptions Could Apply in Maine
Out-of-state visitors can obtain medical marijuana from a Maine dispensary. Visitors must have a valid prescription in another state to obtain medical marijuana in Maine. They can show their relevant state documents and buy medical marijuana.
A visiting medical marijuana patient who is from an approved state could buy up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana and cannabis products every 15 days. The approved states are those that provided Maine officials with documentation showing their respective standards for issuing medical marijuana credentials.
How to Transport Legal Marijuana in Maine
When you buy legal marijuana from a Maine dispensary, you must leave it in the sealed container until you get to where you are going. If you open the package to inspect the flower or concentrate, that would violate the law. So would consuming some while you are in the car.
The best way to transport your legal purchase from a dispensary is to place all marijuana products in the trunk. If your vehicle does not have a trunk, the locked glove box would work, too.
You can keep the unopened package in the passenger cabin along with other belongings. But it is best to place it in a secured location before you exit the dispensary’s parking area.
If you are visiting from out of state, it is not legal to transport Maine-bought marijuana products into another state. So, visitors should determine their likely needs while in Maine and not buy more than necessary.
Where You Can Consume Marijuana in Maine
When you legally obtain marijuana from a Maine dispensary, you cannot smoke it anywhere you like. You must use it while at home or on other private property.
Maine bans its use in state parks and while in the general public domain. If you are caught smoking it while strolling down the sidewalk, you get a $100 fine. Smoking away from home or other authorized places is not a crime, but it is a civil violation in Maine.
While visitors can purchase recreational or medical marijuana, they might not stay at a hotel that allows its use. The owners of hotels and motels can ban the use of marijuana at their properties. That makes it important to plan ahead and stay at a place that allows its use.
If you intend to visit one of the great national parks in Maine, you need to leave marijuana products at home. You cannot use cannabis products on any federally owned land or other property anywhere in the United States.