Marijuana Legalization

Municipalities across Maine are addressing the state’s new adult use marijuana law, and there is still a lot of uncertainty, questions and concerns. GPCOG strives to help communities in Greater Portland and the Lakes Region work together and learn from one another in order to help foster regional solutions.

Local Adult Use Marijuana Regulations: Current status of GPCOG communities

Note: Please email Jessa Berna, Land Use Planner at if you know of any changes, or have any questions.



Maine’s Recreational Marijuana Law: Crafting a Regional Response:

GPCOG Forum: November 2, 2017


Marijuana Panel at GPCOG 2017 Annual Summit



Municipal Resources

Maine Municipal Association

Drummond Woodsum Legalized Marijuana Presentation (February 28, 2017)

Legal Marijuana & Municipalities (December, 2016)

Model Marijuana Moratorium Ordinance

Model Ordinance Prohibiting Retail Marijuana Establishments and Retail Marijuana Social Clubs (December 1, 2016)

Some Thoughts on Recreational Marijuana Moratoria – Ted Kelleher of Drummond Woodsum discusses the need for and limitations of a moratorium for controlling recreational marijuana at the local level.

Observations from Colorado on Retail Marijuana Establishments – Mark Eyerman describes a site visit to a retail marijuana establishment in Colorado.

Local Governments and Marijuana Regulation – This guidebook was written by the law firm Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot to help the City of Kodiak, Alaska implement local regulations on the newly created recreational marijuana industry.

Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division Application Checklist

Local Government Regulation of Marijuana in Oregon – This guidebook was written by the League of Oregon Cities to help inform city councils as they decide how to regulate medical and recreational marijuana in their communities.

Oregon Recreational Marijuana Application Checklist Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Cannabis Program – This website is designed for Portland residents to learn more about licensed businesses/pending applications in their neighborhood.

Marijuana Regulation in Washington State – This webpage, published by the Municipal Research and Services Center – a nonprofit organization that provides policy guidance to local governments in Washington State, provides an overview of local and state regulations in Washington State and provides some examples of local zoning ordinances that apply to state licensed marijuana businesses.

In the News

Medical Marijuana Providers Seek First Chance at Retail Sales in Maine – Portland Press Herald, April 25, 2017

Rocky Road Isn’t Just a Flavor of Ice Cream – Portland Phoenix, April 4, 2017

Legal Cannabis Raises Unavoidable Questions for Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program – Portland Phoenix, March 27, 2017

The Road to Legalization in Maine – Portland Phoenix, March 7, 2017

Regulating the Coming $40 Million Maine Cannabis Edibles Market – Portland Phoenix, February 27, 2017

It’s Legal: Maine’s Guide to the New Marijuana Law – Portland Phoenix, January 28, 2017

The People Have Spoken: Locals Share Their Thoughts on Legal Marijuana – Portland Phoenix, January 28, 2017

In Colorado, a Look at Life After Marijuana Legalization – Boston Globe, February 22, 2016

Marijuana Dispensary Among State Senators’ Stops in Colorado – Boston Globe, January, 11, 2016


Professional Associations and Trade Journals

Local Government Regulation of Personal Marijuana Grows – This article from the Denver Law Review raises issues around personal grow operations, such as electrical hazards, mold, and other public health/safety concerns, and discusses ordinances that regulate personal grow operations.

Regulating Commercially Legalized Marijuana as a Public Health Priority– The American Public Health Association’s policy statement on regulating commercial marijuana sales.

Making It Legal: The Tech Implications of Regulating Recreational Marijuana – A discussion of the IT needs that go along with regulating marijuana, such as issuing tablets to inspectors to cut down on paperwork, using digital permitting systems, such as Accela, to streamline the permitting process, or implementing seed to sale tracking systems.

Research on the Impact of Legalized Marijuana in Other States

Dose of Reality: The Effect of State Marijuana Legalizations – This 2016 study by the Cato Institute provides a systematic evaluation of the claims made by both proponents and opponents of legalization. The authors examined data from Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The impact – A report released by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area showing the impact of marijuana liberalization on traffic deaths, impaired driving, youth marijuana use, adult marijuana use, emergency room and hospital admissions, treatment, and diversion of Colorado marijuana to other states.

Drug Abuse Trends in the Seattle-King County Area: 2014 – A report released by the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute presenting data on drug use trends, including the early stages of marijuana legalization in Washington.

Government & Public Sector Services provided by the Marijuana Policy Group – The MPG provides a number of resources for states and municipalities, including: Marijuana Market Quantification, Marijuana Licensing Solutions, Legal Marijuana Fiscal Impact, Specialized Regulatory Research, and Production Control Policy.