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The Department of Administrative and Financial Services is responsible for licensing and regulating all cannabis businesses in the state of Maine. In carrying out their duties, the department works closely with the Department of Public Safety to address any regulations related to public safety or law enforcement concerns that may arise.

Licenses are only able to be granted to Maine residents. Dispensaries must start with a state license and then seek local authorization. In comparison to other states Maine has very afforadable application and licensing fees. To apply, you must remit a $250 payment to the DAFS. The annual licensing fee will be a maximum of $2,500, depending on business size. Cannabis is only subject to a 10% sales tax, creating an especially favorable market for vendors.

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Maine has a history of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use. The state first legalized medical marijuana in 1999, allowing patients with qualifying medical conditions to access and use cannabis for medical purposes. The state legislature acted promptly to establish the regulatory framework for this new industry, and medical cannabis sales began in the following year. Since then, the medical cannabis industry in Maine has been steadily growing.

In 2016, voters approved a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana, but the law faced delays in implementation due to political and regulatory challenges. However, in 2019, Governor Janet Mills signed a bill into law to establish a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana sales. Under the law, adults aged 21 and over can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and can grow up to six flowering plants and 12 immature plants for personal use.

Retail sales of recreational marijuana began in October 2020, with the state generating significant tax revenue from cannabis sales. Maine has also implemented social equity provisions in its cannabis regulations, such as prioritizing licenses for those from communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.