A Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Use in Maine

New Englanders hoping to take a trip to Maine to bask in its beauty with some weed in hand might want to postpone the visit until some legalities are sorted out.

While recreational marijuana is legal in Vacationland, the law has hit some bumps since it passed. And the state is still in the process of sorting some of those rules out.

Cannabis in Maine

Maine voters approved Question 1 on Nov. 8, 2016, the Act to Legalize Marijuana, legalizing the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of cannabis. But on Jan. 27, 2017, the state legislature approved a moratorium on implementing parts of the law relating to retail sales and taxes until at least February 2018. The part of the law allowing consumers 21 and older to possess 2 1/2 ounces, or 70.87 grams, of cannabis did take effect on Jan. 30, 2017.

Then on May 2, 2018, the state Legislature overrode Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s  veto of An Act to Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana. The law was enacted.

The law stipulates in its introduction:

“Whereas, amendments to the Marijuana Legalization Act are necessary to provide clarity in the licensing and regulation of adult use marijuana establishments and in the oversight and enforcement of the laws regarding the personal use and home cultivation of marijuana…”

Even so, recreational marijuana sales in the state are most likely several months away.

Maine has permitted doctor recommendations, and limited possession, of medical marijuana since 1999. Voters passed Question 5, the Maine Medical Marijuana Initiative in 2009, expanding the state’s existing program.

Where and How to Buy

There is not yet a system for recreational cannabis sales in the state.

Medical marijuana patients can buy medical cannabis from a registered caregiver or dispensary, or can cultivate cannabis on their own property.

What Isn’t Allowed

Adults 21 and older can use or possess at any one time up to 2 1/2 ounces, or 70.87 grams, of marijuana or 2 1/2 ounces, or 70.87 grams, of a combination of marijuana and marijuana concentrate, including no more than 5 grams of marijuana concentrate. Adults can also give, without any money exchanged, those amounts to a person 21 or older. Plus, they can give without any payment, up to six immature marijuana plants or seedlings to someone 21 and older.

Adults 21 and older can, in fact, buy up to 2 1/2 ounces, or 70.87 grams, of cannabis; or 2 1/2 ounces, or 70.87 grams, of a combination of marijuana and marijuana concentrate, including no more than 5 grams of concentrate from a dispensary. Buying is legal from a store, the state just isn’t set up for it yet.

Public use isn’t allowed. Adults can consume marijuana in a private residence, or on private property not accessible to the public, if they have permission from the property owner.

Marijuana use isn’t allowed by a driver or passenger in a car.

Adults 21 and older can cultivate up to three mature cannabis plants, up to 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings for personal use.

First-Time Use in Maine

Things are still in flux in Maine regarding marijuana laws, but newbies who now know the basic rules and want to light up can give it a go.

Remember to start with small amounts, and figure out your limits slowly.

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