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Maine Announces Open Enrollment for Cannabis License Applications on December 5th

November 8, 2019

The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is entering the final stages of preparation for the adult-use cannabis market. Officials recently announced that they will begin accepting cannabis license applications for cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers on December 5th. Applicants can download applications on the Office of Marijuana Policy website.

Maine Marijuana Rules Adopted

Cannabis regulators in Maine have spent months developing rules for the adult-use marijuana industry. They feel confident that their model serves as the gold standard for other states who legalize marijuana in the months and years to come.

OMP Director Erik Gundersen stated that, “The Office of Marijuana Policy has worked … to develop and institute regulations that we hope will serve as a model of how to properly regulate marijuana for the rest of the country. The goal has been to put forth the best rules and regulations possible.”

Limited Licenses in Some Cities

Long pain-staking delays have only added to the anticipation of Maine’s recreational cannabis market, which will likely lead to a flurry of submissions from the very get-go. This is also due to the fact that some local municipalities are limiting the number of cannabis licenses and will only approve provisional licenses on a first come, first serve basis.

Obtaining a cannabis license in these towns will be offer limited competition and more return customers. Other cities in Maine are placing no limits on licenses or are approving provisional cannabis license holders using a point-based scoring system. Portland, Maine will use this system to determine which applicants receive one of the 20 licenses available. 

Required Criminal Background Check

The selection process will favor female- and minority-owned cannabis businesses, Maine residents, applicants that are open to sharing the profits with the city and anyone with an upstanding business track record in the local community. All applicants must first apply for a state-issued identification as a prescreening process to run background checks on all applicants seeking a cannabis license.

The Office of Marijuana Policy will be conducting these background checks as stipulated in the legalization law to determine if the applicant or their employees meet the character requirements. There are certain felony convictions that will disqualify an applicant from participating in the legal cannabis market in Maine. 

While Maine’s adult-use regulations were fully adopted by the state agency on Monday, they don’t go into full effect until December. Office of Marijuana Policy officials want to allow time between now and then to respond to questions from applicants so licensing goes smoothly. Maine’s adult-use cannabis market is estimated to generate over $158 million in sales in 2020 and nearly $252 million in 2021.