marijuana plant, how to start a marijuana business in maine

Marijuana Plants

Do you want to know how to start a marijuana business in Maine? Medical and adult-use cannabis is legal in Maine. While the state is not currently accepting any applications for medical cannabis establishments, you can still prepare yourself for when it begins accepting applications again. Currently, you can apply for an adult-use cannabis license.

Are You Eligible to Open a Cannabis Business?

Before knowing how to start a marijuana business in Maine you’ll have to determine if you are eligible too. If you’re planning on opening a cannabis business in Maine, there are few requirements you must meet:

  • Must be 21 years of age or older to apply for a license
  • Individuals with at least 51% of the ownership shares of a cannabis establishment must be a Maine resident for at least 4 years before applying for the license
  • Must pass a criminal background check with no disqualifying drug offenses (must have completed the sentence, probation, or supervised release, 10 or more years prior to the submission of the application)
  • If the applicant is a business entity, the business entity must be incorporated in the state or formed under the laws of the state
  • Must not be employed by a state agency or be a law enforcement officer or corrections officer

Cannabis Business License Types Available

In Maine, cannabis entrepreneurs are able to choose from a variety of adult-use cannabis business license types including:

  • Cultivation facility
    • Tier 1 license
      • Plant count-based tier allows cultivation of no more than 30 mature plants and an unlimited number of immature plants and seedlings
      • Plant canopy-based tier allows cultivation of not more than 500 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants
    • Tier 2 license allows cultivation by licensee of not more than 2,000 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants
    • Tier 3 license allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 7,000 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants
    • Tier 4 license allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 20,000 square feet of plant canopy of mature plants
    • Nursery license allows cultivation by a licensee of not more than 1,000 square feet of plant canopy
  • Products manufacturing facility
  • Marijuana testing facility
  • Marijuana store
  • Sample collector license (for testing labs)

Maine is not currently accepting any medical cannabis business applications. So far, the state has licensed 8 vertically-integrated medical cannabis retailers.

Cannabis License Application: Required Forms and Information

If you’re planning on applying for a cannabis establishment license, the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) requires the following information for all licenses:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Email account
  • Date of application
  • Type of cannabis establishment license being applied for
  • Whether or not the licensee plans to co-locate adult-use and medical cannabis operations
  • Identification of every officer, director, manager, and general partner of the business entity
  • Identification of all individuals and business entities having a direct or indirect financial interest in the proposed establishment
  • Identification of any other cannabis establishments, including those outside of Maine, in which the applicant holds an ownership interest
  • Attestations that the applicants have read the requirements, meet the minimum age requirements, and have disclosed any disqualifying convictions and offenses
  • A notarized signature page attesting the accuracy of the information
  • Proof of lawful presence or citizenship and Maine residence
  • If the applicant is a business entity, it shall submit evidence of incorporation within Maine and proof accounting for 100% of the equity ownership in the business entity
  • Evidence of compliance with all tax obligations

For more information about the required forms and application requirements, refer to the adult-use marijuana program regulations for Maine.

Applying for a Cannabis Establishment License

Conditional License

Before obtaining the active cannabis establishment license, the OMP can issue a conditional license to applicants for any type of cannabis establishment license, except for a sample collector license.

Conditional licenses are valid for one year and are non-renewable. Conditional licenses are used to demonstrate that the applicant meets the state’s licensing requirements for the purpose of seeking local authorization. Conditional licenses do not allow establishments to cultivate, manufacture, test, or sell cannabis or cannabis products.

In order to obtain a conditional license, applicants must submit a preliminary operating plan, along with all supplemental information and documentation required. Minimum requirements for the operating plan vary by license type.

The OMP has 90 days from the date an applicant submits all required documents to review and act upon the application. Within 90 days, the OMP will provide notice if they deny the application, issue a non-renewable conditional license, or issue an active license for a sample collector (valid for one year).

Local Authorization

In order for a cannabis establishment to be eligible for an active license, the municipality must have submitted a signed and notarized local authorization certification form prepared by the OMP. Conditional license holders have one year to secure a location and get approval from the municipality.

The OMP has 10 calendar days within receipt of the local authorization to notify the applicant of any additional information needed. Local authorization is not required for sample collector licenses.

Tax Registration

A conditional licensee must be properly registered with the State Tax Assessor. They must obtain a Sales Tax Identification Number for each active license. A conditional cultivation facility licensee, must additionally obtain an Excise Tax Identification Number for each active cultivation facility license.

Supplemental Information

All conditional licensees must submit the following forms and supplemental information:

  • Evidence of compliance with all applicable electrical inspection and permitting requirements
  • Facility plan, covering the following elements:
    • Location of the establishment and indicating its proximity to any school
    • Size and layout of the establishment
    • Proof of ownership of the premises or proof of the owner’s consent for the intended use of the premises
    • A legal ingress onto property from the closest maintain public highway
    • If the property is also used as a residence, the location of that residence within that property
  • Security plan
  • Operating plan
  • Tracking system
  • Any changes from the conditional license application

License Renewal

Active licenses must be renewed annually. An annual inspection by the OMP may be required for renewal of a license.

Cannabis Licensing Fees

Application fees are required at the time that an applicant submits the application. Before issuing an active license, the OMP shall invoice the conditional licensee for the applicable fee.

License Type Application Fee Annual License Fee Outdoor Only Indoor/Both
Tier 1 Cultivation Facility

Plant-Count-Based

Plant-Canopy-Based

 

 

$100

$100

 

 

$9/mature plant

$250

 

 

$17/mature plant

$500

Tier 2 Cultivation Facility $500 $1,500 $3,000
Tier 3 Cultivation Facility $500 $5,000 $10,000
Tier 4 Cultivation Facility $500 $15,000

+$5,000

$30,000

+$10,000

Nursery Cultivation Facility $60 $350 $350

 

License Type Application Fee License Fee
Products Manufacturing Facility $250 $2,500
Marijuana Store $250 $2,500
Testing Facility $250 $1,000
Sample Collector $100 $250

Cannabis Business Certification

Cannabis Training University provides prospective business owners with a complete curriculum covering every major aspect of the cannabis industry. Whether you want to start a dispensary, cultivation site, testing site, or other marijuana establishment, CTU has got you covered.

Enroll today to start your journey in Maine’s cannabis market. When you’re up and running, CTU can be a valuable education tool to train your entire staff, so they can remain compliant. Enroll today to start your cannabis business on the right path!

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