Maine Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Maine, marijuana is classified as a Schedule Z substance, which is a catch-all category of substances that are considered dangerous, but not as dangerous as other substances. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102.) Maine allows medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. And while not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Maine.

To learn about Maine's medical marijuana laws, see Maine Medical Marijuana Laws.

For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Maine, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Maine.

Marijuana Possession and Sale

It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana Maine. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102.) Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, and may be increased for aggravating factors. Additionally, someone who possesses more than two and a half ounces is presumed to be in possession with the intention of selling marijuana. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1106.)

  • Up to two and a half ounces. A violation is a civil violation, punishable with a fine of between $350 and $600.
  • Between two and a half and eight ounces. A violation is a class E crime, punishable with a $1,000 fine, and up to six months in jail.
  • Between eight ounces and one pound. A violation is a class D crime, punishable with a $2,000 fine, and up to one year in jail.
  • Between one and 20 pounds. A violation is a class C crime, punishable with a $5,000 fine, and up to five years in prison.
  • Over 20 pounds. A violation is a class B crime, punishable with a $20,000 fine, and up to ten years in prison.

Cultivation

It is illegal to knowingly cultivate marijuana plants in Maine. Penalties vary according to the amount cultivated, with additional penalties for aggravating cultivation (described below). (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1102.)

  • Up to five plants. A violation is a class E crime, punishable with a $1,000 fine, and up to six months in jail.
  • Between five and 100 plants. A violation is a class D crime, punishable with a $2,000 fine, and up to one year in jail.
  • Between 100 and 500 plants. A violation is a class C crime, punishable with a $5,000 fine, and up to five years in prison.
  • More than 500 plants. A violation is a class B crime, punishable with a $20,000 fine, and up to ten years in prison.

Aggravating Factors

For any marijuana sale or cultivation offense, the penalties will increase if one or more of the following aggravating factors are present at the time of the offense.

  • The offender sells marijuana to a minor. 
  • The defendant possesses a firearm in furtherance of the offense.
  • The defendant solicits, enlists the help of, or conspires with a minor.
  • The crime takes place within 1,000 feet of a school or other drug free zone.
  • The defendant has one or more prior marijuana-related convictions.

Additionally, if the defendant uses a vehicle to facilitate the aggravated marijuana offense, the judge may order the offender’s driver’s license suspended for up to five years (beginning after any period of incarceration ends). (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105-D(2).)

Aggravated sale

An aggravated sale conviction is a class C crime, punishable with a $5,000 fine, and up to five years in prison. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105-C.) Additionally, if the offender uses a vehicle to facilitate the aggravated marijuana offense, the judge may order the offender’s driver’s license suspended for up to five years (beginning after any period of incarceration ends). (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105-C(2).)

Aggravated cultivation

An aggravated cultivation conviction is punished according to the number of plants involved. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105-D.)

  • Up to five plants. A violation is a class D crime, punishable with a $2,000 fine, and up to one year in jail.
  • Between five and 100 plants. A violation is a class C crime, punishable with a $5,000 fine, and up to five years in prison.
  • Between 100 and 500 plants. A violation is a class B crime, punishable with a $20,000 fine, and up to ten years in prison.
  • More than 500 plants. A violation is a class A crime, punishable with a $50,000 fine, and up to 40 years in prison.

Additionally, if the offender uses a vehicle to facilitate the aggravated marijuana offense, the judge may order the offender’s driver’s license suspended for up to five years (beginning after any period of incarceration ends). (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1105-D(2).)

Drug Paraphernalia

It is a illegal in Maine to use or distribute drug paraphernalia (or to possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. It is also a crime to advertise the sale of paraphernalia. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 1111-A.)

  • Use. Someone who uses (or possesses with the intent to use) paraphernalia is guilty of a civil violation, punishable witha mandatory $300 fine.
  • Sale to an adult. A violation is a class E crime, punishable with a $1,000 fine, and up to six months in jail.
  • Sale to a minor. A violation is a class D crime, punishable with a $2,000 fine, and up to one year in jail.
  • Advertising. It is illegal for someone to advertise items that the person knows (or should know) are intended for use as paraphernalia. A violation is a class E crime, punishable with a $1,000 fine, and up to six months in jail.

To learn more about drug laws in Maine, please see Possession of a Controlled Substance in Maine.

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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