Maine

5 Key Take Away's from Maine's Recreational Marijuana Regulations

Maine published draft recreational marijuana regulations more than two years after residents voted to legalize marijuana and amid contracting chaos. In September 2018, Maine hired a consultant to help draft the regulations, which resulted in a lawsuit from a competitor. Maine is now paying the losing consultant $10,000 to review the draft rules in exchange for dropping the administrative appeal.

Maine released the draft rules in response to a freedom of information act request from the Press Herald. The rules will be formally published twenty days ahead of a hearing to receive public comments.

Five (5) key take away’s from Maine’s recreational marijuana regulations include:

  • Maine chose a simple license regime that includes cultivation facility, testing facility, products manufacturing facility, and marijuana store.

  • Applicants obtain a conditional license, and then must obtain approval from a local municipality that has voted to allow that class of marijuana establishment or .where the county has opted in to allowing the class of marijuana establishment.

  • Except for independent testing facilities, Maine will verify that management and the majority of owners of licensees are natural persons who are Maine residents.

  • Maine is charging reasonable application fees ranging from $60 to $500. Annual license fees range from $350 to $15,000.

  • The regulations do not provide for social equity programs, social lounges, or temporary events.

Maine's Legislature Proposes Progressive Marijuana Production Tax

Most state regulators tax marijuana producers based on the quantity or a fixed rate applied to the square footage of the canopy growth. Maine wants to change this approach. Maine’s Committee on Taxation will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 18th, 2019 on a bill that will charge marijuana producer’s 15% of the average market price that is determined by the state. The tax will not apply to vertically integrated marijuana producers.

Maine’s approach is novel. The industry can benefit from a transparent market prices. We are most concerned about the transparency and fairness of the approach used to generate the average market price, and the likelihood of manipulation. The legislation states that the department will determine an average quarterly market price for flower, trim, immature plants and seeks. The bill fails to address how the average market price is calculated per category including the look back period; the initial pricing used to create the average market price; how changes in local conditions are incorporated; and how the producers use the average market price to assess taxes to be paid. These details should be provided so that producers can adequately assess the changes to cash flow, the certainty of which a flat rate provides.

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Maine's New Law Addresses Ban on CBD Infused Products

Hemp was federally legalized as a part of the 2018 Farm Bill on December 20, 2018. In early February, and in an effort to comply with Federal Regulations, the State of Maine ordered that all cannabidiol ("CBD") foods, beverages & other products be removed from shelves & that all sales of CBD infused products cease immediately.  Even pet stores were contacted & told to remove any products containing CBD. Complaints poured in, and on Feb. 5, Rep. Hickman introduced LD630 in a bi-partisan effort to resolve the apparent misunderstanding among the State of Maine, the FDA, the DEA and Maine citizens.

With a strong show of bi-partisan support from Congress, newly elected Democratic Governor Mills signed LD630 into law on March 27th. The law clarifies that products containing CBD are not considered "adulterated" under state law.  Further, the production, sale, manufacture, marketing or distribution of products containing hemp may not be prohibited. The State definition of "Hemp" now matches the federal definition, as set forth in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

An Act To Clarify the Disqualification from Unemployment Benefits of a Person Who Is Terminated from Employment for Being Under the Influence of Marijuana

The Maine Legislature introduced bill LD 1013 which disqualifies an individual from receiving unemployment benefits if such employment was terminated because the individual was under the influence of marijuana while on duty or when reporting to work, as is already the case for alcohol and illegal drugs.

As written, LD1013 makes no exception for medical use marijuana. LD1013 was referred to the Committee on Labor and Housing on February 26 and a public hearing will be held March 11th.

Renee Cartier, J.D.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access 440 THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.