By Eric J. Uhl / May 2, 2019

On April 22, 2019, nearly two years after voters passed a ballot initiative to permit the legal sale of recreational marijuana, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy (did you ever think you’d hear of such an organization here in Maine?) released the Preliminary Draft of the Rules Governing Maine’s Adult Use Marijuana Program. You can see the draft rules here.

The draft rules, prepared by the California consulting firm Freedman & Koski (which helped administer the implementation of legal marijuana in Colorado), are 74 pages long. In summary, the draft rules provide that prospective retailers and manufacturers would first need to obtain a conditional license from the state and approval from the town in which they want to operate. The state would then grant a one-year active license which may be renewed on an annual basis. The draft rules provide that all individual applicants; officers, directors, managers, and general partners of a business entity; and the majority of shareholders, members, partners, or other equity interest holders of a business entity must be residents of Maine.

The draft rules provide for licenses for five tiers of cultivation operations: a smaller operation with no more than 30 mature plants or 500 square feet of canopy; facilities with 2,000, 7,000, and 20,000 square feet of plant canopy; and a nursery with no more than 1,000 square feet of plant canopy. For retail operations, the draft rules provide for limitations on the amount of marijuana and marijuana products that can be sold to an individual at one time or within one day.

In addition, the draft rules provide product safety requirements, waste management procedures, packing and labeling guidelines, enforcement and penalty provisions, fee schedules, and other rules.

Next, the draft rules must be reviewed and approved by the Legislature before taking effect.

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