Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999 and its adult-use counterpart was approved by the voters via a ballot initiative in 2016.
3 years on and the recreational industry is still gathering its footing – most of the residents blame former governor Paul LePage for the setback. However, things are finally changing for the better, courtesy of current governor Janet Mills’s rational approach towards the drug. The state is now looking all set to have regulated recreational sales by 2020.
Here’s what you should know about the laws/limits imposed by the state government for the drug:
The People of Maine are allowed to cultivate up to 3 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants and an unlimited number of seedlings. Adults are free to keep all the cannabis harvested from their plants as long as they do not exceed 3 flowering plants.
Exceeding the set limit will invite fines starting from $2,000 with one year of imprisonment, which can reach up to $20,000 and 10 years in prison (depending on the number of plants).
Adults over the age of 21 will not be prosecuted for possessing 2.5 ounces of cannabis at a time. However, possessing over 2.5-8 ounces may burn a hole in your pocket with penalties of up to $1,000 and 6 months of incarceration.
Notably, anyone found in possession of over 20 pounds may be subject to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Maine has nearly 46,000 patients enrolled in its medical marijuana program that has been operational since 1999. Earlier, the drug could be prescribed for a select number of conditions; however, after the 2018 amendment to the law, doctors can recommend cannabis for any condition they deem fit.
The laws and limits for the possession of the drug are the same — 2.5 ounces — irrespective of whether the person in question is a registered patient or a recreational user.
Notably, patients or registered caregivers are permitted to have up to six mature flowering plants.
As far as marijuana licenses are concerned, the state isn’t going to let any money-hungry businessperson get a license. Only residents, who have lived in the state for four and more years are permitted to apply for a license until June 2021, when the state will begin to permit outside applications.
The measure has been taken to promote small, local businesses and prevent outside companies from coming in and pushing the former away.