Adult use cannabis sales are coming! We’ve been fielding many calls about where consumers can buy adult use cannabis here in Maine. The short answer is – it’s not quite time yet, but we are very close. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy’s June 2020 launch. As a result, a new date has been set. Circle October 9th, 2020 on your calendar as the date. This is when sales to consumers 21 and older are slated to begin at select retail stores.
Here is the latest:
September 8th is the date when the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is planning a big announcement. They will share its first round of fully licensed testing labs, cultivation facilities, manufacturing plants and retail stores. Before then, consumers won’t know where they will be able to buy legal adult use cannabis. This gives those license holders a month to get ready before sales begin. However, it is important to note that many license holders may need more than a month to get ready. Even if a retail store has an adult-use license, they may not be ready by October 9th.
How to purchase cannabis in Maine prior to October 9th
In the meantime, to buy medical cannabis in Maine, consumers need to have a valid certification card. To purchase medical cannabis, you must have a valid physical medical cannabis certification card in tandem with a government-issued ID. While some states allow for a temporary, digital or scanned copy of a certification card, please be aware, this is not deemed acceptable in the state of Maine. The writing on the card must be legible for them to be accepted. We recommend placing your card in a plastic sleeve to preserve the ink and prevent it from smudging.
For visiting out-of-state patients
A visiting qualifying patient (non-Maine resident, out-of-state visitor) is a patient with a debilitating medical condition who is not a resident of Maine. It also includes those who have been a resident of Maine for less than 30 days. This individual is qualified by another jurisdiction for the medical use of marijuana. Your state must be approved by the state of Maine.
Wellness Connection of Maine accepts out-of-state members
Visiting qualifying patients from the following states that have been approved by the state of Maine: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, DC (Click HERE to view the state site list as it is subject to change).
Out-of-state patient process
Patients who are residents of these states may purchase medical cannabis products from a registered dispensary or caregiver. All are subject to the limitations imposed by the laws and rules of the state of Maine. The following two criteria must be met:
- Home-jurisdiction certification: The visitor shall possess a valid medical use of marijuana certification issued by the visitor’s home jurisdiction.
- Photographic identification: The visitor shall possess a valid photographic identification card or driver’s license issued by the visitor’s home jurisdiction.
How to purchase cannabis in Maine after October 9th
Please be aware that not all dispensaries and cannabis shops will be allowed to sell to non-card holders. This is causing a lot of confusion for consumers. There might only be a handful of stores that have a license and are ready to sell adult use. Consider it a trickle effect: each week more retail stores will become available but on October 9th, there will be very few to start. In addition, consumers should expect some products to be out-of-stock temporarily. This is because of delays in testing and labeling of products.
After October 9th, one should still expect an abundance of medical dispensaries available to sell to medical card holders. The benefit of a medical certification is that you can shop at both retail and medical cannabis stores. There will also be tax incentives for medical card holders.
Keep following along with us – we’ll have the most updated information as the state allows for adult use sales, follow us on our social media channels (IG: @maine.wellness & FB: @wcmaine) to stay informed.
The Background Information
Maine voters may have approved legalizing the recreational use, sale and taxation of cannabis in their 2016 vote, but it’s taken the state four years to develop the program’s perimeters. Now, new rules for adult use cannabis here in Maine have been given the greenlight by the State Legislature and have been signed by Governor Mills. The new law went into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourned. Maine is the 8th state to have a fully-legal adult use market. The state’s rules are designed to allow municipalities to opt in or out of allowing sales.
What does this mean and how will marijuana sales in Maine change? Here’s a rundown, with information provided by the Portland Press Herald.
Door and windows locks are now required for all marijuana businesses, as well as an alarm system monitored by a 24-hour security company and security cameras. Video footage must be stored for at least 45 days.
Child protection rules
Edibles in the shape of animals, people or characters are not allowed. Adult use marijuana and adult use marijuana products must be prepackaged in child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging. Or, these items must be placed in child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging at the final point of sale to a consumer. In addition, adult use marijuana and products must be prepackaged in opaque packaging or an opaque container at the final point of sale to the consumer. Liquid adult use marijuana products must include an integral measurement component and child-resistant cap.
Daily purchases are limited to no more than 2 ½ ounces of dry-leaf marijuana, or 5 grams of concentrate. Edibles can’t exceed 100 total milligrams of THC, the compound that gets consumers high; single edible servings are capped at 10 milligrams each.
Statewide Retail Hours
Marijuana may only be sold between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. with some state-approved exceptions.
For a summary of the Maine Adult Use Regulation Law visit the Marijuana Policy Project. Or read the complete law here.