Maine was one of four states that voted to legalize marijuana for adult use on Election Day 2016. The other states that voted to legalize on Election Day were of course California, Massachusetts, and Nevada. All three other states have seen their initiatives take effect for non-industry purposes. Maine’s marijuana initiative has not taken effect yet.
California’s initiative took effect the day after Election Day. Massachusetts’ initiative took effect on December 15th, making it the first legal state on the East Coast. Nevada’s initiative became effective on January 1st. Maine’s process for initiatives taking effect is a bit more involved than the other states. Even after an initiative is passed by voters, it still has to be signed off on by Maine’s Governor via a declaration to Maine’s Secretary of State.
Maine’s Governor had stated many times leading up to the vote (and even after the vote) that he opposed the initiative. Add to that a recount, and Maine’s marijuana initiative has taken a bit to become law. But that is all changing at the end of this month, as it has been reported by Maine’s Secretary of State Office as well as Marijuana Majority that Maine’s Governor has finally given in and sent the declaration, as seen below via Marijuana Majority’s Facebook page:
I have seen at least one marijuana media outlet state that the initiative takes effect on January 15th. That is not the case, as you can see from the tweet above. If you live in Maine, and want to know when you will truly be legally protected from prosecution when within the limits of Question 1, you need to wait until January 30th, and not a day sooner. Once Maine’s initiative becomes law, Maine will be home to arguably the best legalization model in the country. You can read the full text of Question 1 at this link here.