How Can I Buy Cannabis in Maine?
Hi there! If you’ve found your way here, you’re likely looking to understand what the rules are for buying weed (we try not to call it “marijuana” anymore; you can call it “pot” if you insist) in Maine. You’ve come to the right place. We’ve organized this summary of how it works as a list of frequently asked questions. If you’ve got a question we didn’t answer, hit us up at [email protected] and our editor will get right back to you (and add to this FAQ).
What’s the difference between medical and adult-use Cannabis in Maine?
There are two different kinds of Cannabis Dispensaries here in Maine:
Medical marijuana dispensaries: To shop in these stores, you need a “medical marijuana” card, but it doesn’t have to be one from Maine. Maine shops honor cards from just about every other jurisdiction with medical weed, including all of the rest of the New England states and New York and New Jersey. You can find a full list of recognized state medical programs here.
Generally, these stores will have “medical” prominently displayed on their signage and often they will have a green cross (like the Red Cross symbol, but green) to indicate they are a medical establishment.
You can be as young as 18 years old if you have a medical card, and you can purchase weed for younger patients with them in the shop as long as you are their legal guardian/parent, etc.
Adult Recreational retail stores: To shop in these stores, you just need to be 21+ and have a valid ID to demonstrate that. It’s just like buying beer.
Usually, these stores will have a prominent 21+ sign or use the word “recreational” or “adult-use” in their signage.
Is the Recreational and Medical weed the same?
Fundamentally, cannabis is cannabis. Medical weed and recreational weed are the same plant. However, there are many, many strains of cannabis and each one will deliver a slightly different experience when you consume it. A medical store might have more strains designed to create medical benefits like helping you sleep or easing anxiety or addressing pain, but which don’t get you all that “high.”
Also, there are certain rules that recreational stores have to follow that medical stores do not, especially around portions and how strong each “dose” is.
In the recreational store, an edible cannabis product can only have 100mg of THC (the ingredient that most affects you in cannabis) in each package, and each dose can only have 10mg in it.
In a medical store, there are no such limits. It is possible to get a candy bar at certain medical stores with as much as 1,500mg of THC in it. Always read the packaging before consuming cannabis edibles!
Is Medical Cannabis less expensive in Maine?
Yes, in general, medical cannabis is less expensive for a variety of reasons:
- Medical weed is not taxed as highly as recreational weed.
- Medical establishments aren’t required to do as much tracking and testing as recreational stores, and so have less overhead.
- Medical weed can often be a very small operation where the grower owns the small store and they can keep their prices low because they have very little overhead at all.
In the recreational market, you have to pay higher taxes and the growers, themselves, have to pay higher taxes when they sell their weed at wholesale to the retailers. Plus, they have to do “track and trace,” which can be expensive software.
Further, many recreational cannabis stores are chains where the growers support many stores, or the stores buy from many growers. This increases the margin between grow and eventual sale and raises the price for the consumer to make sure everyone along the way can support themselves.
How much weed can I buy at once? Is it different between Medical and Recreational?
If you don’t have a medical card, you can buy up to 2.5 ounces of recreational cannabis, or have a combination of products that equal up to 2.5 ounces (edibles, etc., would just count as their mg amount), but no more than 5 grams of concentrates (batter, diamonds, shatter, etc.) can be a part of that.
If you do have a medical card, you can similarly buy up to 2.5 ounces of “prepared” cannabis, with no limits on concentrate amount.
However, that’s also the limit for possession, so you can’t legally go from store to store and buy 2.5 ounces from each. You are only allowed to possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis product at any one time, whether you have a medical card or not.
Can I bring Maine cannabis our of state with me?
Not legally. Regardless of the laws in your home state, United States federal law specifically says you may not cross a state or international border with cannabis in your possession. Further, the country of Canada has issued guidance specifically forbidding the import of cannabis from the United States.
Nor is it legal to mail cannabis, even if it is legal in both states in question.