Medical Cannabis (Marijuana) In Maine
131st Bills Proposed
U.S. Dept. of Justice
Note: As a result of P.L. 2021, ch. 669 the word "marijuana" was replaced with the word "cannabis" in the Maine Revised Statutes except for in Title 17-A. As of March, 2023, we have updated this page to reflect this change except for where the old language is used in the title of a bill, law or state agency.
Maine has allowed prescribing, and limited possession, of medical cannabis since 1999 but the law lacked any distribution mechanism and questions arose of noncompliance with federal law and of how patients could legally obtain the prescribed cannabis. On November 3, 2009 Maine voters approved Question 5, which enacted the citizen-initiated bill, "An act to establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act" (LD 975, IB 2).
Maine was the fifth state to provide for dispensaries of medical grade cannabis for persons with debilitating and chronic medical conditions. These dispensaries are licensed and regulated by the Office of Cannabis Policy.
Following the November 2009 election, results were verified by the Secretary of State. Governor Baldacci's press release of November 6, 2009 detailed an executive order which set up a task force chaired by Brenda Harvey, Commissioner of DHHS. On November 17, 2009, the Governor announced the names of the members of the task force. The Task Force issued its report to the Governor on January 27, 2010. The subsequent 2010 enactment of LD 1811, the Governor's bill, paved the way for promulgation of agency rules under the Administrative Procedures Act. Emergency rules were adopted on May 5, 2010 . Only eight dispensaries (one for each of the eight districts) were approved for the first year. Instructions and applications, as well as the text of the rules, are available on the website of the Office of Cannabis Policy.
In November, 2017, a new rule was adopted that "implements changes enacted by the 126th and 127th Legislature, removes language that duplicates statutes, corrects grammatical errors, outdated language and inconsistencies, and provides clarification regarding the Department’s policies and practices specific to regulating the cultivation, dispensing and possession of marijuana for medical use." This new rule went into effect 2/1/2018 but has since been superseded.
On June 14, 2018, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, in the case Gaetan H. Bougoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Company, LLC et al., ruled that employers need not cover the cost of medical cannabis in workers' compensation cases.
On July 7, 2018, the Legislature overrode vetoes of two bills that significantly amend the medical cannabis laws in Maine. 128th LDs 238 and 1539 became law as P.L. 2017, ch. 447 and 452, respectively.
In addition, P.L. 2017, ch. 409, relating to adult use cannabis, transferred the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Business Management.
P.L. 2021, ch. 398 created the Office of Marijuana Policy within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, which has since been renamed the Office of Cannabis Policy pursuant to P.L. 2021, ch. 669. According to the OCP website, their policy mission is "to ensure the health and safety of all Mainers by effectively and responsibly licensing and regulating cannabis establishments."
For more recent developments see news article links below.
Please also see our compiled legislative history on medical marijuana and our webpage on adult use cannabis (recreational marijuana) law in Maine.
6/30/2023 A-Z List
6/30/2023 A-Z List