Maine Revised Statutes

§2447. License application and issuance

Beginning February 1, 2018, an application for a license under the provisions of this chapter must be made to the state licensing authority on forms prepared and furnished by the state licensing authority and must set forth such information as the state licensing authority may require to enable the state licensing authority to determine whether a license should be granted. The information must include the name and address of the applicant and the names and addresses of the applicant's officers, directors or managers. Each application must be verified by the oath or affirmation of such person or persons as the state licensing authority may prescribe. The state licensing authority may issue a license to an applicant pursuant to this section upon completion of the applicable criminal history record check associated with the application. The license is conditioned upon municipal approval. An applicant is prohibited from operating a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club without state licensing authority and municipal approval. If the applicant does not receive municipal approval within one year from the date of state licensing authority approval, the license expires and may not be renewed. If an application is not approved by the municipality, the state licensing authority shall revoke the license. [2017, c. 1, §9 (AMD).]

1. Qualifications.  The following provisions govern the qualifications for licensure as a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club. A person is not qualified to conduct licensed activities until the required annual fee has been paid.
A. An applicant who is a natural person must be at least 21 years of age. If an applicant is a corporation, all members of the board must comply with this paragraph. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
B. A person who has been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense may not be a licensee. For purposes of this paragraph, "disqualifying drug offense" means a conviction for a violation of a state or federal controlled substance law that is a crime punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or more. "Disqualifying drug offense" does not include an offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration or supervised release, was completed 10 or more years prior to application for licensure or an offense that consisted of conduct that is permitted under this chapter. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
C. A person who has had a license for a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club revoked may not be a licensee. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
D. A sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, prosecuting officer or an officer or employee of the state licensing authority or a municipality is ineligible to become a licensee. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
E. The state licensing authority shall investigate all applicants for compliance with this chapter prior to issuing a license. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
F. First priority for licensure must be given to registered caregivers who have been continuously registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act or who have experience serving as a principal officer or board member of a nonprofit medical dispensary registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. If an applicant, either a business entity or an individual, owns, has a financial interest in or controls the management of more than one dispensary in this State, that applicant may receive preference for only one license in each license class. As long as there are other preferred applicants for any or all license classes an applicant who owns, has a financial interest in or controls the management of more than one dispensary in this State is not eligible for multiple licenses in any class. Preference must be given to an applicant who has at least 3 medical marijuana caregiver registrations when determining which applicants receive licenses. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
G. The state licensing authority shall accept applications from registered caregivers and principal officers or board members of registered dispensaries who have continuously registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
H. The state licensing authority shall adopt rules, which are major substantive rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A, for a streamlined application process for registered caregivers and principal officers or board members of dispensaries registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, which must include an initial site inspection confirming compliance with this chapter. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Investigation of qualifications.  In investigating the qualifications of an applicant or a licensee, the state licensing authority and municipality may have access to criminal history record information furnished by a law enforcement agency subject to any restrictions imposed by that agency. In the event the state licensing authority or municipality considers the applicant's criminal history record, the state licensing authority or municipality shall also consider any information provided by the applicant regarding such criminal history record, including, but not limited to, evidence of rehabilitation, character references and educational achievements, especially those items pertaining to the time between the applicant's last criminal conviction and the consideration of the application for a license.
At the time of filing an application for issuance of a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club license, an applicant shall submit a set of the applicant's fingerprints and personal history information concerning the applicant's qualifications for a license on forms prepared by the state licensing authority. The state licensing authority shall submit the fingerprints and the municipality may forward fingerprints to the State Bureau of Investigation for criminal history background information. The state licensing authority shall also forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of conducting a federal fingerprint-based criminal history record check. The state licensing authority may acquire a name-based criminal history record check for an applicant or a licensee who has twice submitted to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check and whose fingerprints are unclassifiable. An applicant who has previously submitted fingerprints for state licensing purposes may request that the fingerprints on file be used. The state licensing authority shall use the information resulting from the fingerprint-based criminal history record check to investigate and determine whether an applicant is qualified to hold a license pursuant to this chapter. The state licensing authority or municipality may verify any of the information an applicant is required to submit.
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Applications; issuance.  The following provisions govern applications for and issuance of a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club license.
A. An applicant shall file an application in the form required by the state licensing authority for the type of license sought, along with the application fee as set by the state licensing authority. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
B. An applicant may apply for and be granted more than one type of license except that a person licensed as a retail marijuana testing facility may not hold any other retail marijuana establishment license. Registered caregivers and registered dispensaries who have held a registration in good standing for 2 years by the date of the application must be given priority in the granting of licenses for a retail marijuana cultivation facility, retail marijuana products manufacturing facility or retail marijuana store license. The state licensing authority shall begin accepting and processing applications by 30 days after the adoption of rules under section 2444, subsection 2. If after 90 days those applications do not meet the maximum square footage allotment set by this chapter, the state licensing authority may begin accepting and processing applications by all other qualified applicants. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
C. The state licensing authority shall issue or renew a license to operate a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club to an applicant who meets the requirements of the state licensing authority, which must include a review of the site plan, operating plan and relevant experience in the marijuana industry in this State, as set forth in rule, within 90 days of the date of receipt of the application unless:
(1) The state licensing authority finds the applicant is not in compliance with this section or rules adopted by the state licensing authority;
(2) The state licensing authority is notified by the relevant municipality that the applicant is not in compliance with an ordinance, rule or regulation in effect at the time of application; or
(3) The number of retail marijuana establishments or retail marijuana social clubs allowed in the municipality has been limited pursuant to local ordinance or is limited by subsection 7 and the state licensing authority has already licensed the maximum number of retail marijuana establishments or retail marijuana social clubs allowed in the municipality for the class of license that is sought. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
D. The following provisions govern the situation when more than one application is received by the state licensing authority for establishment of a retail marijuana establishment or retail marijuana social club in the same municipality.
(1) If a greater number of applications are received from qualified applicants to operate a retail marijuana store in a municipality than are allowed under the limits enacted by that municipality pursuant to subsection 4, the state licensing authority shall solicit and consider input from the municipality as to the municipality's preferences for licensure. Within 180 days of the date the first application is received, the state licensing authority shall issue the maximum number of applicable licenses.
(2) In any competitive application process to determine which applicants receive licenses for any class of license, the state licensing authority shall give first preference to an applicant who has at least 2 years of previous experience cultivating marijuana in compliance with Title 22, section 2423 and who has been continuously registered with the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Preference must be given to an applicant who has 3 medical marijuana caregiver registrations when determining which applicants receive licenses. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
E. The state licensing authority may not grant a license for a retail marijuana establishment to a licensee who has already received a license to operate the same type of retail marijuana establishment if doing so would prevent another qualified applicant from receiving a license. The state licensing authority may not grant a license for a retail marijuana social club to a licensee who has already received a license to operate a retail marijuana social club if doing so would prevent another qualified applicant from receiving a license. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
4. Limitation on number of retail marijuana stores.  The state licensing authority may not limit the total number of retail marijuana stores in this State. A municipality may regulate the number of retail marijuana stores and the location and operation of retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs and may prohibit the operation of retail marijuana establishments and retail marijuana social clubs within its jurisdiction.
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
5. Limitations on retail marijuana cultivation.  The state licensing authority may establish limitations upon retail marijuana cultivation through one or more of the following methods:
A. Placing or modifying a limit on the number of licenses that it issues, by class or overall, but in placing or modifying the limits, the state licensing authority shall consider the reasonable availability of new licenses after a limit is placed or modified; and [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
B. Placing or modifying a limit on the amount of production permitted by a retail marijuana cultivation facility license or class of licenses based upon some reasonable metric or set of metrics, including, but not limited to, previous months' sales, pending sales or other reasonable metric as determined by the state licensing authority. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
6. Limitation on retail marijuana cultivation facility size.  The amount of space approved for marijuana cultivation at retail marijuana cultivation facilities is limited to 800,000 square feet of plant canopy, unless the state licensing authority determines that a greater amount may be needed to ensure an adequate supply to meet demand for various strains of marijuana throughout the State. An applicant must designate on the applicant's operating plan the size category of the licensed premises and the amount of actual square footage in the applicant's licensed premises that will be designated as plant canopy.
The state licensing authority shall license 2 types of retail marijuana cultivation facilities, those with 3,000 square feet or less of plant canopy and those with more than 3,000 square feet of plant canopy. The state licensing authority shall license marijuana cultivation at retail marijuana cultivation facilities by unit blocks of 10 feet by 10 feet, or 100 square feet, of plant canopy, with 40% of all licenses issued going to licensees of 30 unit blocks or less. The maximum amount of unit blocks allowed to a single licensee is 300.
An applicant who applies for a retail marijuana cultivation facility license for a facility with more than 3,000 square feet of plant canopy but is not licensed by the state licensing authority may be considered for a license for a facility with 3,000 square feet or less of plant canopy.
No more than 6 retail marijuana cultivation facilities or more than 300 unit blocks of plant canopy may be located on the same parcel of property.
The state licensing authority may reduce the number of unit blocks a retail marijuana cultivation facility is authorized to cultivate if 50% or fewer of the unit blocks a facility is authorized to cultivate are not used by the end of the first year of operation.
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
7. Restrictions on applications for licenses.  The state licensing authority may not approve an application for the issuance of a license pursuant to this chapter:
A. If the application for the license concerns a location that is the same as or within 1,000 feet of a location for which, within the 2 years immediately preceding the date of the application, the state licensing authority denied an application for the same class of license due to the nature of the use or other concern related to the location; or [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
B. Until it is established that the applicant is in or will be entitled to possession of the licensed premises for which application is made under a lease, rental agreement or other arrangement for possession of the premises or by virtue of ownership of the premises. [IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW).]
[ IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
IB 2015, c. 5, §1 (NEW). 2017, c. 1, §9 (AMD).