Tobacco Licenses Required for Maine Cannabis Businesses Selling Certain Products

February 24th, 2021, Adult-use, Medical, Regulatory, Retail, State, Tax

Any retail store in the state of Maine must obtain a retail tobacco license from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services before selling rolling papers, pipes, bongs, other smoking paraphernalia, and/or electronic smoking devices like vape pens/batteries or vape cartridges. This includes stores selling marijuana, such as caregiver retail stores, dispensaries, or adult use marijuana stores. It is illegal to sell items that require a retail tobacco license if your retail location does not have this additional state license, which must be timely renewed each year.

It is also important to note that electronic smoking devices, regardless of whether they contain marijuana or are intended to contain marijuana, are subject to a 43% tobacco excise tax. These devices can only be purchased from a tobacco distributor that is licensed by Maine Revenue Services, as the license is required to pay that excise tax when the empty vape cartridges, pens, batteries, etc. are brought into the state.

If you have questions about these requirements and how they relate to your cannabis business in Maine, please contact a member of Drummond Woodsum’s Licensing and Regulatory Compliance division.