Are you interested in opening an adult-use marijuana business in Maine? Here's some of what you need to know.
Licensing and Fees
Although Maine's adult-use law is in effect, we still don't know when the state will open the licensing process or have applications available. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that applications will start by the end of the year.
There will be four licenses:
(1) cultivation facility license;
(2) products manufacturing facility license;
(3) marijuana store license; and
(4) testing facility license.
There will not be a social club license in the beginning; that could change a few years down the road.
A Cultivation Facility License will let you grow marijuana for the adult-use market and sell wholesale to licensed stores and to licensed manufactures. It will not let you sell to consumers, though a cultivation license holder can also hold a retail store license and a manufacturing license.
A Products Manufacturing Facility License will let you make marijuana products, such as edibles, extractions, distillates, tinctures, balms, and lotions.
With this license, you can sell your products to retail stores and other manufacturing facilities, but not to consumers.
You cannot grow with this license. However, you can get both a cultivation facility and a manufacturing facility license if you want to grow and make products. You must apply for each license separately.
If you want to make edibles, you must have a commercial kitchen license.
The application fee for a manufacturing facility license will be no more than $250 (nonrefundable). The annual fee will be no more than $2,500.
A Marijuana Store License will let you sell marijuana and marijuana products to anyone who is 21 or older.
It will also let you buy from cultivation facilities and manufacturing facilities.
This license will not let you grow marijuana or prepare marijuana products. However, you can get a cultivation license and/or a manufacturing license along with a store license. You must apply for each license separately.
Besides marijuana and marijuana products, a store can sell immature marijuana plants and seedlings (but not mature plants) and non-marijuana products, such as sodas, candies, baked goods, clothing, and souvenirs.
The application fee for a marijuana store license will be no more than $250 (nonrefundable). The annual fee will be no more than $2,500.
A Testing Facility License will let you develop, research, and test marijuana and marijuana products. If you have a testing facility license, you cannot have any other adult-use marijuana license.
The application fee for a testing facility license will be no more than $250 (nonrefundable). The annual fee will be no more than $1,000.
The law outlines several requirements for getting any adult-use marijuana license.
Any person and any officer, director, and manager of a business must be 21 or older and must have been a Maine resident for four years at the time of applying. The majority of shares or ownership interests must be held by person 21 or older who have been Maine residents for four years.
The state will do a criminal history check on every person applying for a license and every person connected to a business license. This will include employees, contractors, owners, managers, officers, and support staff. Criminal convictions for certain felony drug offenses and crimes involving dishonesty, deception, misappropriation, or fraud (such as embezzlement and theft) will cause disqualification. However, the licensing agency will look at rehabilitation, character references, educational success, and the length of time since the conviction for non-drug offenses.
The state will want to see IRS and Maine income tax returns for the two years before the license application. Unpaid tax liens levied within five years of the application date will cause the applicant to be disqualified.
Any business applying for a license must be incorporated or formed under Maine law.
The following will not be allowed licenses either individually or as part of a business: employees of the agencies that oversee adult-use marijuana, law enforcement or corrections officers, and those who have had medical or recreational licenses revoked in Maine or in any other state.
Towns will have a lot of control over marijuana businesses. Towns will be required to actively opt in to allowing recreational marijuana businesses, meaning that they must have an ordinance in place the explicitly allows adult-use businesses.
Before the state fully grants a license, the town must give its approval.
Towns must require and approve site plans for all marijuana businesses. Towns can also put in place reasonable land use regulations and ordinances.
This is only a brief overview of the proposed law. If you have more questions, you can schedule a consultation here: