Is Weed Legal In Maine? – The Basics On Maine Cannabis Laws
While there were a few attempts to decriminalize weed in the 1970s, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that Mainers got serious about legalizing marijuana. Indeed, in 1999, Maine residents voiced their support for the state’s first Medical Marijuana Registry. Listed as “Question 2” on the November ballot, this initiative helped create the state’s Medical Use Marijuana Program under the Department of Health.
Today, Maine patients with a doctor’s approval could apply for a state-approved MMJ card through the Office of Marijuana Policy’s website. Maine also allows MMJ patients to hire a licensed caretaker to purchase and transport cannabis from state-approved dispensaries.
About ten years after Maine approved its Medical Marijuana Program, lawmakers in Augusta passed decriminalization laws for small traces of recreational weed (< 2.5 ounces of flower). Shortly after that, Portland residents legalized recreational cannabis in their city. In 2013, anyone over 21 in Portland could legally own 2.5 ounces of cannabis and smoke it in their homes.
It wasn’t long before the rest of Maine followed Portland’s lead. Indeed, in 2016, voters narrowly approved the Marijuana Legalization Act. While this law didn’t establish a commercial dispensary program, it legalized small traces of adult-use recreational cannabis.
After a few years of debate in the State Capitol, commercial dispensaries formally opened in 2020. While Maine leaders hinted they will allow some dispensaries to create in-store smoke areas, these probably won’t appear till 2023.
Since Portland was the first city to embrace legal pot, it makes sense that most of Maine’s hottest dispensaries are located here. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find lovely ganja nugs in other cities like Augusta, Bangor, and Lewiston.
Here are just a few noteworthy dispensaries now operating in the Pine Tree State: