State by State Comparison

The following is a comparison of Maine’s medicinal marijuana law; Question 1 on Maine’s ballot which proposed legalizing recreational adult use; and Colorado and Washington marijuana laws.


Category Current Maine Law (Medical) Question 1 (Adult Use) Colorado (Adult Use) Washington (Adult Use)
Personal Possession 2.5 ounces 2.5 ounces 1 ounce 1 ounce
Home Cultivation 6 total flowering plants, 12 non-flowering plants, and unlimited seedlings. 6 flowering plants, 12 non-flowering plants, and unlimited seedlings 6 marijuana with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants; No more than 12 total plants are allowed per residence regardless of the number of adults living there. Not allowed
Regulatory Agency Department of Health and Human Services Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Dept. of Revenue, Enforcement Division Washington State Liquor Control Board
Statewide Retail Limits To be set by DHHS. Currently there are 8 medical dispensaries, distributed by Public Health District. Unlimited number of caregivers. Individual caregivers are only allowed to dispense up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks to a maximum of 5 patients. Caregivers are prohibited by law from working together or assisting another caregiver (acting as a collective). Unlimited Local control Through the state agency rulemaking process the Liquor and Cannabis Board has adopted regulations on the maximum number or retail store licenses that will be issued for each county, and for some of the cities and towns in each county
Grants Provisional Licenses to Dispensaries** N/A No No No
Medical Marijuana Program Changes N/A None No Yes: As of July 1, 2016, the production and marketing of medical marijuana is also incorporated into the same regulatory framework as recreational marijuana, with some variations such as the allowance of medical marijuana cooperatives.
Competing Applications Competitive application process for dispensaries. Unlimited number of caregivers, no criteria for becoming a caregiver. Only individuals with a prior felony conviction are precluded from becoming caregivers. Preference given to caregivers that have had at least three patient registrations and have been operating for at least two years and dispensary owners Local control

First priority is given to applicants who: Applied to the state liquor and cannabis board for a marijuana retail license prior to July 1, 2014;

Second priority is given to applicants who: Operated or were employed by a collective garden before January 1, 2013;

Third priority is given to all other applicants who do not meet the qualifications and experience identified for priority one or two

Local Control Limited. A political subdivision may limit the number of dispensaries that may operate in the political subdivision and may enact reasonable regulations applicable to dispensaries. Local municipalities may not adopt an ordinance that is duplicative of or more restrictive than state law. Yes Yes

Limited: Cities, towns, and counties in Washington State can choose to prohibit or to designate appropriate zones for state-licensed marijuana businesses because Washington local governments have authority to enact legislation regulating land uses within their jurisdictions.

However, it is the State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) that has final authority over whether to grant or deny the license to operate in Washington State.

Cultivation Limits There is no statewide limitation on cultivation. There are, however, cultivation limits imposed on caregivers.   Regulator can limit the amount of cultivation licenses it issues as well as the amount of marijuana a cultivator may produce

Tier system by plant number:

  • Tier 1 (1-1,800 plants);
  • Tier 2 (1,801-3,600 plants);
  • Tier 3 (3,601-6,000 plants);
  • Tier 4 (6,001-10,200 plants);
  • Tier 5 (10,201-13,600+)

The maximum amount of space for marijuana production will be imposed at a later date. Applicants must designate on their operating plan the size category of the production premises and the amount of actual square footage in their premises that will be designated as plant canopy.

There are three categories as follows:

  • (a) Tier 1 – Less than two thousand square feet;
  • (b) Tier 2 – Two thousand square feet to ten thousand square feet; and
  • (c) Tier 3 – Ten thousand square feet to thirty thousand square feet.
Cultivation Size Limits Patients can grow for themselves or designate their plants to a dispensary or caregiver. Dispensaries can have an unlimited number of patients with 6 flowering plants per patient, 12 non-flowering plants per patient, and an unlimited number of seedlings. Caregivers are only allowed to have 5 patients, a total of 36 flower plants. Caregivers may have 12 non-flowering plants per patient and an unlimited number of seedlings. Statewide cap of 800,000 sq ft., tiered system: 40% of licenses goes to cultivators under 3,000 sq ft. and 60% of licenses go to cultivators 3,000-30,000 sq ft. There is no statewide limit on the number of cultivation licenses, canopy size, or plant number. Additionally, there is no cap on the maximum number of plants a Tier 5 (10,201-13,600+ plants) license holder may grow, although the license holder must receive approval, in increments of 3,600 plants, to grow more than 13,600 plants. There are no statewide limits on cultivation licenses, canopy size, or plant numbers. However, any entity and/or principals within any entity are limited to no more than three marijuana producer or processor licenses
Residency Requirements All principal officers and board members of a dispensary must be residents of this State. Caregivers must be Maine residents. Must be a natural person, defined as a resident of Maine Yes, resident of Colorado for at least 2 years prior to the date of application All applicants applying for a marijuana license must have resided in the state of Washington for at least six months prior to application for a marijuana license. All partnerships, employee cooperatives, associations, nonprofit corporations, corporations and limited liability companies applying for a marijuana license must be formed in Washington. All members must also meet the six month residency requirement. Managers or agents who manage a licensee's place of business must also meet the six month residency requirement.
On-site Consumption No Yes- allows for licensing of Social Clubs No No
License Fee Caps

Dispensary Applicant Fee: $15,000;

Caregiver Applicant Fee: $300 per patient Initial fees: Retail store- $12,000 Product manufacturer- $7,000 Distributor- $7,000 Cultivator- $1,000 per 1,000 sq ft. Testing lab- $7,000 Renewal fees 1/3 of initial fees, except cultivators (they are the same every year

Applicant fee: $250 Annual fees: Retail store- $2,500 Cultivator (tiered)- $30,000 Product manufacturer- $1,000 Testing lab- $500 Social club- $2,500

Tiered system licensing fees; local licensing fees. Initial fees:

Retail store: $3,000;

Cultivation facility: Tier 1- $2,200;

Tier 2- $3,200;

Tier 3- $4,200;

Tier 4- $6,600;

Tier 5- $10,200;

Each additional 3,600 plants for a Tier 5 license holder $1,000; Retail products facility- $2,200; Retail testing lab- $2,200

The application fee for a marijuana producer, retailer or processor license is $250; The applicant is also responsible for paying the fees required by the approved vendor for fingerprint evaluation. The annual fee for issuance and renewal of a marijuana producer, retailer or processor license is $1,000. The licensee will be responsible for all fees required for the criminal history checks
Tax Rate standard sales tax (5.5%) 10% flat sales tax 2.9% retail and medical marijuana sales tax, 10% retail marijuana special sales tax, 15% marijuana excise tax 37% marijuana excise tax at the retail level. In addition, B&O taxes on the production and local retail sales taxes apply.
Tax Revenue Allocations   All revenue goes to General Fund, tax revenue cannot directly fund any new state programs, revenue may be appropriated to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to train law enforcement on new marijuana laws Via the Old Age Pension Fund, marijuana tax revenue is allocated to the General Fund. 15% of the revenue from the 10% tax on marijuana retail sales is allocated to local governments and apportioned according to the percentage of marijuana retail sales occurring within city and county boundaries. The remaining 85% is allocated to the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund. Revenue in this fund is required to be spent the year after it is collected and used for health care, health education, substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, and law enforcement. The first $40 million in marijuana excise tax revenue is credited to the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Fund. The BEST Fund is used to renew or replace deteriorating public schools. BEST grants are awarded on a competitive basis annually and funding is prioritized based on issues such as asbestos removal, building code violations, overcrowding, and poor indoor air quality. Revenue in excess of $40 million is credited to the Public School Fund. Fiscal years 2016 and 2017: the state will distribute $6 million to cities and counties that have licensed retail marijuana stores within their jurisdiction; Fiscal year 2018: if marijuana excise tax collection exceeds 25 million dollars, 30% of all marijuana excise taxes deposited into the general fund the prior fiscal year will be distributed to local governments as follows: 30% will go to counties, cities, and towns where retailers are located, based on the retail sales from stores within each jurisdiction; 70% will be distributed to counties, cities, and towns on a per capita basis – but only to jurisdictions that do not prohibit the siting of state-licensed producers, processors, or retailers.
Vendor Training/Public Education No vendor training requirements. Dispensaries: required to make up-to-date educational materials available to qualifying patients and their primary caregivers including information about strains, dosage, tolerance, dependence, substance abuse. Caregivers: none. No vender training requirements or public education requirements. None Voluntary. To earn the designation of "responsible vender" retailers must provide in-person training by uninterested, third-parties for at least 2 hours every 2 years in the following areas: physical effects of marijuana based on product type, amount of time to feel impairment, visible signs of impairment, recognizing the signs of impairment, laws on sales to minors, how to check identification, state laws. Voluntary. Penalties for violations may be mitigated based on proof of an employee training plan that includes annual employee training on applicate state law.
Packaging Requirements None Mandatory child-resistant, opaque packaging. Packaging for products intended to be multi-serving or more than single use must be resealable. Mandatory child-resistant, opaque packaging. Packaging for products intended to be multi-serving or more than single use must be resealable. Packaging may not be designed to be attractive to children. Single servings may only contain a maximum of 10 mg of THC; only 10, 10 mg single servings per package (total of 100 mg per package). If practicable, edible products themselves must be marked with the "Universal Symbol" indicating that the product contains marijuana. Packaging must protect the product from contaminants and may not impart any toxic substance to the usable marijuana/marijuana product; mandatory child-resistant packaging (including heat-sealed 4 mil plastic). Liquids may be sealed with a "metal crown cork style bottle cap". If there is more than 1 serving per package, each individual serving must be packaged individually with child-resistant packaging. Measuring cap or dropper must be included in package with any marijuana infused liquid.
Testing Requirements Dispensaries: voluntary potency and safety testing Caregivers: no testing requirements Testing requirements (to be specified in subsequently promulgated regulations) must include, but is not limited to, analysis for residual solvents, poisons and toxins; harmful chemicals; dangerous molds and mildew; harmful microbes, such as Escherichia coli and salmonella; and pesticides. Potency testing to ensure correct product labeling. Mandatory potency testing (THC, TCHA, CBD, CBDA, CBN); mandatory contaminant testing (microbial contaminants, residual solvents (concentrates), mold and mildew, filth contaminants). All testing to be done by a licensed, third party testing lab. Random compliance testing by the state. Flower: mandatory testing includes: moisture content; potency analysis; foreign matter inspection, microbiological screening. Concentrate or extract made by hydrocarbons: Potency analysis; microbial screening (if flower was not pre-screened); residual solvent test. Non-hydrocarbon concentrates or extractions: potency analysis; microbial screening (if flower was not pre-screened). Edible product: potency analysis. All testing must be done by a state certified, third party testing lab.
Labeling Requirement Must indicate weight and comply with general state laws around product labeling Labeling of retail marijuana and marijuana products must include the following: license no. of the cultivation and/or production facility; identity statement and universal symbol; batch no.; net weight statement; THC potency; warning labels; solvents used in extraction; amount of THC per serving and no. of servings per package; list of ingredients and possible allergens; nutritional fact panel; use by or expiration date Use of the word candy(ies) is prohibited. Label must include: license no. of the cultivation and/or production facility; production batch no.; net weight statement; verification that the container is child-resistant; set of usage instructions for non-edible product; seven explicit warning statements; list of non-organic pesticides; list of solvents and/or chemicals used in the production; potency statement (THC and CBD content); contaminants testing statement; ingredient list (edibles); statement regarding refrigeration (edibles); serving size and THC content per serving size and total THC content; production date; expiration date; nutrient panel Labels or handout accompanying the product must include: specific warnings, cultivator and/or producer license no., seed to sale tracking no., net weight, pesticides used in cultivation, solvents used in extraction/extraction method, THC, THC-A, CBD and CBD-A concentrations, date of harvest. Edible labels or handouts must include: date manufactured, best by date, serving size and total number of servings within unit, total mgs of THC or Delta-9 and CBD, list of ingredients and major food allergens contained in product. Concentrations of other cannabinoids and terpenes may be included on the label if the they are supported by third party test results and the results are available to the consumer upon request. Upon request of customer retailer must disclose: the name of the third party testing lab and the results of the quality assurance testing of any product the customer is considering purchasing.
Limitations on Types of Products None Products may not include additives designed to make the product more attractive to children. Effective October 1, 2016: it is illegal to product or sell THC-infused gummies in the shape of humans, animals or fruit Prohibited products: Marijuana-infused product that require cooking or baking by the consumer; marijuana infused products that are appealing to children, marijuana-infused edibles such as gummy candies, lollipops, cotton candy, or brightly colored products, Marijuana-infused products that require time-temperature control to keep them safe, marijuana infused products made shelf stable by canning or acidification, marijuana-infused fruit or vegetable juice, marijuana infused fruit or vegetable butters, marijuana infused pumpkin pies, custards, or pies that contain eggs, marijuana-infused dairy products (butter may be used for extraction and used in an edible, but may not be sold as a standalone product), marijuana-infused dried or cured meats.

** Oregon granted provisional licenses to medical dispensaries that allowed them to sell adult use marijuana to person age 21 and over during the time it took the state to finalize regulations and begin issuing licenses for adult use cultivation, processing, and retail stores.