Dec 22, 2016 12:20 PM

No More Doubts: Maine Gets Legal Recreational Weed

This week it became clear that Maine will have legal recreational marijuana after all. With the adult use legalization initiative opponents dropping their request for a recount, Maine will have to take only a few more steps to implement the new law.

When will recreational weed be legal in Maine?

In the best case scenario, it will take a bit over a month for the new law to take effect. Therefore, Mainers who are 21 and older will be able to start using marijuana for recreational purposes at the end of January or early February 2017.

Maine officials will have to take three steps towards implementing the law that legalizes adult use of marijuana across the state. First, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will have to certify the results of the recreational marijuana ballot measure. Once Mr. Dunlap does so, the results of Question 1 will be sent to Maine Governor Paul LePage. Governor LePage will have 10 more days to issue the official proclamation. Finally, 30 days after the official proclamation of the results, the new recreational cannabis law will take effect.

California Just Legalized Marijuana
California Just Legalized Marijuana
Recreational marijuana in now legal in California. Voters have approved Proposition 64, making California the most populous state in the United States to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

What is legal?

The new Maine recreational marijuana law is quite similar to the corresponding laws in other states. It allows adults who are 21 and older to use, possess, and cultivate weed for personal use. In particular, Mainers over 21 will be allowed to:

  • possess up to 2.5 ounces of weed;
  • grow up to 6 flowering and 12 immature marijuana plants;
  • gift (without remuneration) up to 2.5 ounces of weed and up to 6 immature cannabis plants or seedlings to an adult over 21.

It is still illegal, however, to smoke weed in public or on the federal property.

As for recreational marijuana stores and social clubs, the state is expected to issue its first licenses before 2018.

According to unofficial results of the vote released on the Election Day, Maine recreational marijuana measure passed by only a bit more than 4,000 votes. It gave the opponents of marijuana legalization a reason to ask for a recount. But after they recounted nearly 30 percent of votes and did not see any significant changes in the results, the opponents of Question 1 finally decided to abandon their call for a recount.

Massachusetts Recreational Weed Law to Take Effect on Time
Massachusetts Recreational Weed Law to Take Effect on Time
Last week, there were fears that the official tally of the Nov. 8 vote on Massachusetts' recreational marijuana initiative would not be completed on time. But according to a recent statement of a spokesman for William F. Galvin, Massachusetts Secretary of State, the results of the vote will be submitted for certification on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Therefore, the measure approved by Massachusetts voters is poised to take effect on Dec. 15, as planned.

Maine is one of the four states that legalized recreational cannabis this November. Along with Maine, adult-use marijuana initiatives were approved by voters in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

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