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enacted by the 126th and 127th Legislature, removes language that duplicates statutes, corrects grammatical errors, outdated language and inconsistencies, and provides clarification regarding the Department’s policies and practices specific to regulating the cultivation, dispensing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 This new rule went into effect 2/1/2018 but has since been superseded.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.
More than a quarter of Maine's medical cannabis caregivers have quit since 2021 - 4/27/2023
Maine backing down on some of its restrictions for medical marijuana sales - 1/17/2022
Maine places new limits on medical marijuana providers - 11/4/2022
Court: Maine marijuana dispensary owners don't need to be residents - 8/18/2022
Maine's marijuana industry booming no thanks to banks - 6/26/2022
Maine clarifies marijuana rules to help medical users - 5/17/2022
Maine's medical marijuana market escapes closer oversight under new law - 4/28/2022
Maine's 2 marijuana programs are unevenly regulated despite selling similar products - 4/25/2022
Maine argues for its right to discriminate against out-of-state medical cannabis dispensaries - 4/7/2022
Maine scraps plan to beef up medical marijuana rules after industry objects - 3/2/2022
Medical cannabis sellers say scaled-back overhaul of rules still would go too far - 2/2/2022
Court finds Maine marijuana growers can be prosecuted despite congressional limits - 1/27/2022
Industry group recommends new medical cannabis rules for Maine - 1/24/2022
Maine officials acknowledge lax oversight of medical marijuana - 11/10/2021
Farmington bust reignites debate for tighter rules in Maine medical cannabis program - 11/9/2021
State regulators seeking members for medical marijuana workgroup - 8/23/21
Judge rules Maine can’t bar out-of-state firms from selling medical cannabis - 8/12/2021
Maine medical cannabis groups join forces to create lobbying council - 8/10/2021
Federal judge hears arguments over Maine's residency requirement for medical cannabis sellers - 7/16/2021
Bill to overhaul medical marijuana rule-making becomes law - 7/1/2021
Bills to halt changes to medical marijuana program advance in Legislature - 6/17/2021
Maine medical marijuana growers divided on legislation that would pause new rules - 4/23/2021
Medical cannabis sellers make their case in appeal to restore ban on out-of-state providers - 4/8/2021
Maine lawmakers seek to pre-empt proposed rules for medical cannabis - 3/25/2021
Medical cannabis providers, customers testify against Maine's proposed new industry rules - 3/22/2021
Maine to hold hearing on medical marijuana rules - 3/21/2021
Proposed bill would allow medical marijuana cooperatives in Maine - 3/1/2021
Numerous marijuana-related bills expected in next legislative session - 1/10/2021
Draft changes to state's medical cannabis program would require track-and-trace system - 1/5/2021
Maine's largest cannabis company sues to open state's medical marijuana market to outsiders - 12/21/2020
Marijuana has grown to become Maine's most valuable crop - 12/8/2020
State plan to 'harmonize' marijuana programs would wreak havoc, critics say - 2/26/2020
State's plan for special cannabis crimes unit sparks outrage - 2/26/2020
State's medical marijuana market much bigger than anyone realized - 2/24/2020
Efforts to improve banking access for cannabis growers take a big hit - 12/20/2019
Maine medical marijuana providers report e-cigarette sales bump after Massachusetts ban - 11/2/2019
Confusion reigns as Maine rolls out its marijuana tracking system - 9/16/2019
Marijuana dispensary says it would be stifled by proposal requiring majority Maine ownership - 6/10/2019
One thing Maine's legal pot industry can't bank on: support of financial institutions - 5/13/2019
Legal pot hearing expected to draw huge crowd in Maine - 5/13/2019
Marijuana safety rules could be coming this year - 5/1/2019
New contract appeal may further delay Maine's rollout of marijuana sales - 3/6/2019
Maine's effort to track legal pot suffers another setback - 3/1/2019
Maine just signed a deal for a 'seed-to-sale' marijuana tracking system - 2/19/2019
Bill would let Maine stores resume sales of CBD edibles - 2/19/2019
Hemp supporters rally in Augusta after state directs retailers to pull CBD edibles off shelves - 2/5/2019
State orders stores to remove edibles with CBD from their shelves - 2/1/2018
New law opens new possibilities for Maine medical marjiuana providers - 12/20/2018
Changes to Maine's Medical Marijuana rules take effect - 12/13/2018
Two more added to Maine cannabis advisory commission - 12/5/2018
For Maine's marijuana industry, security's still high-risk - 8/19/2018
Lawmakers endorse sweeping medical marijuana reforms - 7/10/2018
Gov. LePage vetoes bill that would ease access to medical marijuana, listing 11 objections - 7/6/2018
Major overhaul to medical marijuana program might open the door for more patients - 6/28/2018
Maine House and Senate approve sweeping reform of medical marijuana bill - 6/26/2018
Maine cities, towns may gain control over all retail marijuana sales - 6/25/2018
Maine's highest court rules employer's can't be forced to cover the cost of medical marijuana - 4/14/2018
Recreational vs. medical: taxes divide pot advocates, LePage - 4/19/2018
Medical marijuana reform bill advances - 4/18/2018
Specialists in marijuana extraction may finally get own state license - 3/26/2018
Lawmakers advance bill that would make over medical marijuana program - 3/7/2018
As Maine's recreational pot law stalls, lawmakers seek to revamp medical marijuana progam - 2/7/2018
Medical marijuana sales, caregivers and patient numbers decline - 2/2/2018
LePage agrees to delay new, more restrictive medical marijuana rules - 1/31/2018
Legislative panels vote to extend ban on adult-use pot, delay medical rules - 1/19/2018
Suit aims to protect Maine medical pot patients, growers from new regulations - 1/18/2018
Maine lawmakers trying to rein in large medical marijuana growers - 1/11/2018
Bill would allow kids prescribed medical marijuana to receive it at school - 1/8/2018
4/28/2023 A-Z List