What does this mean for those interested in the cannabis industry in Maine? Maine residents can plan for the new rules to go into effect 90 days after being signed by the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills. It’s almost been three years after Maine voters approved recreational marijuana retail sales.
The Maine Senate approved the rules by a vote of 26-9, while the Maine House approved them without a roll call. The amended rules are meant to ease the requirements on certain foods containing cannabis and on state residency requirements for operating recreational marijuana businesses.
The amended rules delete wording that might have limited out-of-state ownership of companies involved in recreational cannabis.
Maine required food laws to be amended for foods containing adult-use cannabis to not be considered adulterated if they are prepared in a licensed food establishment that also is a licensed adult-use “marijuana product manufacturing facility.”
Another rule amendment authorizes the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, which oversees the Office of Marijuana Policy, to check to see if a conditionally licensed applicant continues to meet the requirements for conditional licensure. If not, the department can refuse to issue an active license.
While the original recommendation was to set the tax at 25 percent on retail sales of recreational cannabis, the retail tax rate had not been confirmed prior to the end of the legislative session. Currently, LD 335, remains pending. It would impose a 12 percent tax on recreational marijuana retail sales and on the excise tax revenue from sales by a cultivation facility to a retail store.