Maine marijuana growers and users cheered in 2016 when voters approved Question 1, which legalizes growing, possessing and transfer of marijuana by adults 21 years and older.
Prohibitionists such as right-wing Republican Governor Paul LePage told ludicrous reefer madness lies about Question 1.
After it passed, LePage and other marijuana opponents forced a costly, time-consuming vote recount.
The recount was stopped after initial results showed Question 1 had indeed passed by several thousand votes.
Governor LePage had no choice but to certify the new law, but in his signing document he slagged Question 1 by continuing to claim it hadn’t really passed.
LePage also said he’d ask the Trump administration to interfere in state marijuana legalization.
The measure is now slated to take effect at the end of January, 2017.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999, and LePage now wants to end the state’s medical marijuana program.
Maine marijuana advocates were extremely creative and persistent in overcoming LePage and other reefer madness losers to achieve recreational legalization in 2016.
As with most recreational marijuana legalization state laws, Maine marijuana legalization has a complicated set of restrictions.
Here’s a summary:
- People 21 years old and older (legal adults) can possess and transport 2 ½ ounces or less of cannabis.
- Adults can grow and transfer six clones or seedlings, and/or 2 ½ ounces of cannabis, to another adult, but can’t be paid for that.
- Adults can grow a maximum of 12 young plants and six bloom phase marijuana plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings. The cultivator can legally possess all the marijuana harvested from that number of plants, and can legally transport this number of plants.
- Growers can purchase up to 12 marijuana seedlings or clones from a licensed retail marijuana cultivator.
- Maine marijuana consumers can’t use combusted cannabis in public places. The same laws that govern smoking tobacco products govern smoking marijuana products in public places.
- The law authorizes a regulatory scheme to add sales tax, regulation, licensing, and testing requirements on commercial growing, processing, and retailing of Maine marijuana.
- Marijuana social clubs are allowed.
- Medical Maine marijuana cultivation laws are still in effect for medical growers.
- The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is the main state agency for marijuana industry supervision. The Department is required to create specific rules for Maine’s marijuana industry by the end of 2017.
- The Department is tasked with regulating retail marijuana stores, marijuana lab testing, commercial grow ops/processors/packagers/distributors, and the labeling of commercial cannabis products.
- Local government has a lot of power over the commercial Maine marijuana industry.
- Local government can block or limit the number of retail marijuana stores and marijuana social clubs.
- Local government can place licensing and operational restrictions on retail marijuana stores and cannabis social clubs.
- The new law allows employers to continue to discriminate against marijuana users.
- Maine marijuana law doesn’t appear to allow landlords to prevent tenants from engaging in legalized recreational marijuana growing, possession, or use on their premises.
The passage of Question 1 is a big victory for Maine marijuana advocates who’ve spent nearly two decades trying to legalize recreational marijuana.
It increases marijuana cultivation in Maine and makes it easier for growers to trade and transfer seedlings, seeds, and clones.
From a legal standpoint, Maine and Michigan are now the best states east of the Mississippi River for growing marijuana.