In November 1999, Maine voters ticked “Yes” to Question 2, making it amongst one of the first five states in the country to legalize medical cannabis. While this law was pretty restrictive as to which medical conditions were approved and had a pretty strict limit on the amount of prescribed cannabis allowed, this paved the way for the eventual full legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis in Maine.
Ten years later in November 2009, Mainers approved Question 5, which established what is known as the Maine Medical Marijuana Act. This made medical cannabis accessible to patients as a treatment option by creating a statewide medical marijuana card ID system and allowed for the creation of nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries.
Then, on the historic national election day of November 8, 2016, Maine joined eight other states across the country in legalizing recreational cannabis. Mainers voted yes to the Marijuana Legalization Act, aka “Question 1,” allowing adults 21 and older to cultivate, possess, and use cannabis.
While dispensaries are legal and in operation in Maine, it is important to note that medical and recreational cannabis are not always sold from the same dispensary, so you should always double-check before heading to one you’ve never been to before to see if they sell medical or recreational cannabis.
So, now that you know the generals, let’s get into some of the specifics around medical and recreational cannabis laws in the Pine Tree State.
What Are Maine’s Current Cannabis Laws?
To get a medical marijuana card in Maine you must be at least 18 years old, and to be considered a legal recreational user you must be 21 or older.
For purchasing from a medical dispensary, Maine residents who are medical users need to have their medical card, and those from out-of-state need to be able to provide valid patient ID credentials, which include a medical card or registry, and which state they reside in that allows them to purchase medical cannabis in Maine.
For those purchasing from a recreational dispensary, they must be able to present a valid government-issued ID that proves they are at least 21.
Adults are allowed to use, possess, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, and up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. In addition, these same amounts can be “transferred” to others so long as no form of remuneration transpires.
Furthermore, cannabis use in any form–smoking, vaping, and eating–is not allowed in any public space, which includes state and national parks and campsites, and of course cannot be used when in a vehicle regardless if you are driving or not. It can only be used “within the confines of private property.”
Can I Grow My Own Cannabis Plants in Maine?
The answer to this question is one big resounding “YES YOU CAN!”
Recreational users are permitted up to three mature, twelve immature, and unlimited seedlings per person 21 years of age or older. If you are growing at home, your plants cannot be visible from public without the use of binoculars, and you need to take the proper precautions so that no one under the age of 21 can access your plants. Furthermore, for at-home recreational growing, you must tag/label your plants with the following information in legible print: your name, driver’s license or state ID number, and a note that your plant(s) are being grown as authorized by law. For example: Jane G. Smith, ID #: 123456 Personal adult use: Title 28-B, Section 1502.
Medical users, or their primary caregivers, can have up to six flowering plants, twelve immature plants, an unlimited amount of seedlines, and can possess up to eight pounds of harvested cannabis.
One last thing to note, if you are cultivating your cannabis crops on land that is owned by someone else, you have to have their written permission to grow and tend to your plants, and their name also needs to be on each plant’s label.
Most Popular Cannabis Seed Strains in Maine
Provided below are five of the most popular cannabis strains in Maine that are also amongst the best for growing in the Pine Tree State, all of which are well-suited for outdoor growing. For general info on some of the easiest strains to grow indoors read here.
The trichome-coated, neon green buds grown from OG Kush feminized cannabis seeds have an early effect of heavy euphoria, paired with a combination physical and mental high. As a result, most users find the strain leaves them with a relaxed and happy feeling and, quite often, a case of body-numbing couch lock. The strain eases or eliminates pain, and can be useful in treating migraines, stress, and attention disorders, as well as symptoms of depression, bi-polar disorder, and PTSD.
This sativa-dominant hybrid is called an “upper” for a reason. You’ll experience soaring THC levels around 22% that elevate your mood, keep you in a positive headspace, and relieve depression. The diesel aroma, however, is not everyone’s favorite
As sweet as the baked good fresh out of the oven, Cherry Pie marijuana is an indica-dominant hybrid with delicious cerebral effects. Enjoy pain relief and energy with this easy-to-grow strain that has something for everyone.
Packing as much of a punch as its hulking green counterpart, Bruce Banner marijuana is a deliciously potent and socially driven hybrid that yields a generous crop of sticky buds when treated just right.
Great for any time of day, Gorilla Glue Auto-Flowering cannabis seeds relax and ease some pain, and offer a touch of blissful euphoria. These effects make this an ideal strain for people hoping to relieve stress and depression, as well as pain. Gorilla Glue is a balanced hybrid and averages 21% THC. It tastes of pine and diesel and is easy to grow — great for beginners!
If you’re planning to cultivate your cannabis crops outdoors, it’s important to bear in mind that Maine has a relatively short growing season. However, don’t let that fact discourage you from doing so. Many compare the care required for growing cannabis outside to that of growing tomatoes, which plenty of folks do in Northern states with great success. The main thing to keep in mind if you are growing your plants outdoors is to plan on letting them grow throughout the summer and harvesting them around mid-September or early October at the very latest.