Marijuana became legal in Maine when voters approved Question 1 at the ballot in 2016. Maine marijuana law allows adults to grow and possess cannabis for personal recreational use. Medical marijuana has been available in The Pine Tree State since 1999, and patients qualify with a long list of conditions.
Maine became the fifth state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis when voters approved Question 1 at the ballot box. Along with Massachusetts, Maine was the first state to bring reform to the East Coast.
Here you’ll find all you need to know about marijuana laws in Maine.
Maine marijuana laws allow adults to possess up to 2 ½ ounces of cannabis for personal, recreational use. Exceeding this limit is a crime which comes with both a fine and jail time.
Possessing between 2.5 and eight ounces is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. When the amount involved is between eight ounces and one pound, the potential punishment increases to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
For possession of between one and 20 pounds, five years’ incarceration and $5,000 in fines are possible. And for quantities of more than 20 pounds, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Marijuana law in Maine does not allow public consumption of the drug. Doing so is a civil infraction punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
Sale and Distribution
Sale of marijuana in Maine is illegal unless licensed by the state. When the amount sold is less than one pound, the punishment is up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. For distribution of between one and 20 pounds, the maximum penalty increases to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. For huge amounts of more than 20 pounds, the top punishment is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Sale or distribution to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus is punishable by five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Maine cannabis laws allow the cultivation of up to three flowering plants and 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings, at one’s own residence. The grower can also possess all of the marijuana produced by those plants. Any cultivation exceeding these limits is a crime.
For cultivation of more than three and up to 100 plants, the maximum penalty is one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. When between 100 and 500 plants are involved, the potential punishment increases to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. And lastly, cultivation of more than 500 plants comes with up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Hash and Concentrates
Maine marijuana laws allow the possession of cannabis concentrates, as long as the weight does not exceed five grams. Possessing more than five grams is a crime that comes with up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
Trafficking any amount of marijuana concentrates is a Class C crime, and the penalty can be as many as five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
The penalty increases when the offender has prior convictions or uses a minor in the trafficking process; the maximum penalty increases to as many as 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Maine permits the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
While sale to adults is permitted, sale to a minor is illegal. When the minor is aged 16 or older, sale of marijuana is a Class E misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. When the minor is younger than 16, the potential penalty increases to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000.
The medicinal use of marijuana was legalized in Maine through a 1999 ballot initiative. The law removed state-level criminal penalties for the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by qualifying patients. ‘Qualifying patients’ refers to individuals who possess a written “professional opinion” from a physician stating that the patient “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”
Qualifying conditions –
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- HIV or AIDS
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
*Legislation (LD 1539) approved on July 9, 2018 amends state law so that a physician at his or her sole discretion may recommend cannabis to any patient for which he/she believes it will benefit. The new law takes effect 90 days after the close of the 2018 special legislative session.
Patient possession limits – Two and a half ounces
Home cultivation – Yes. Patients or their primary caregivers are permitted to possess a maximum of six cannabis plants.
State-licensed dispensaries – Yes
Caregivers – Yes, a primary caregiver is a person responsible for providing care to the registered patient. Caregivers must be aged 21 or older. Caregivers are be permitted to treat as many patients as possible from their limited harvest, and hire employees as needed.
Reciprocity – Yes. Visiting qualifying patients who possess a valid registry card are allowed to engage in the medicinal use of marijuana for 30 days after entering the state. There is no need to obtain a Maine registry identification card.
|2.5 oz or less||No penalty||None||$ 0|
|More than 2.5 – 8 oz||Crime||6 months||$ 1,000|
|More than 8 oz – 1 lb||Crime||1 year||$ 2,000|
|More than 1 – 20 lbs||Crime||5 years||$ 5,000|
|More than 20 lbs||Crime||10 years||$ 20,000|
|Public use of marijuana is a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine.|
|Possession of a “usable amount” with proof of a physician’s recommendation is not punishable.|
Sale or Distribution
|1 lb or less||Crime||1 year||$ 2,000|
|More than 1 – less than 20 lbs||Crime||5 years||$ 5,000|
|20 lbs or more||Crime||10 years||$ 20,000|
|To a minor or within 1000 feet of a school or school bus||Crime||5 years||$ 5,000|
|3 plants or less||No penalty||None||$ 0|
|More than 3 – less than 100 plants||Crime||1 year||$ 2,000|
|100 – less than 500 plants||Crime||5 years||$ 5,000|
|500 plants or more||Crime||10 years||$ 20,000|
Hash & Concentrates
|Up to 5 g||No penalty||None||$ 0|
|More than 5 g||Crime||1 year||$ 2,000|
|Trafficking||Crime||5 years||$ 5,000|
|Trafficking (prior conviction, use of minor, other)||Crime||10 years||$ 20,000|
|Possession of paraphernalia||Civil Violation||N/A||$ 300|
|Sale of paraphernalia||Crime||6 months||$ 1,000|
|Sale to a minor younger than 16 years of age||Crime||1 year||$ 2,000|
|Driver’s license restriction will be imposed for aggravated furnishing any amount of pot or hash.|