Cannabis sales are coming to Maine—nearly three years after state voters passed a legalization law back in 2016.
Legislators in Augusta on Thursday finally approved a legal framework that will allow the state’s long-delayed retail cannabis stores to open. Gov. Janet Mills is expected to sign the measure, which would allow the first stores to come online in early spring 2020.
Since 2016, cannabis has been legal to possess but not to purchase in Maine. The yearslong holdup has been largely thanks to former Gov. Paul LePage, an ardent legalization opponent who did all he could to slow-walk the implementation of the voter initiative. Mills, LePage’s successor who took office earlier this year, has vowed to move ahead with a legal, regulated, taxed cannabis market.
Despite the delay, Maine’s new market is shaping up to be one of the most consumer-friendly in the nation. While most states limit adults 21 and older to one ounce of cannabis flower, Maine set its limit at 2.5 ounces. Consumers may possess up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
The rules proposed by the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy and adopted by the Legislature this week deal mainly with the details of adult-use cannabis regulation. Some of the highlights include: