Update for Maine Caregivers: Cultivating up to 500 Square Feet of Plant Canopy Requires Payment of Additional Fee

September 17th, 2019, Cannabis Law, Cultivation, State

As you may know, LD 1218 passed in the last legislative session, which changed the medical marijuana law to allow medical marijuana caregivers to measure their cultivation limits by either plant count (30 flowering plants) or plant canopy (500 square feet of flowering canopy).  The change went into effect on Thursday, September 19th.  If a registered caregiver wants to switch from 30 flowering plants to 500 square feet of flowering canopy, they have two options.  The first is to wait until the caregiver registration is up for renewal and indicate on the renewal form the intent to cultivate 500 square feet of flowering canopy.  The second is to renew the caregiver registration early, indicating on the renewal the intent to cultivate 500 square feet of flowering canopy, and paying the full amount of an annual registration.  The revised caregiver registration form is available here. A caregiver is not permitted to change from 30 flowering plants to 500 square feet of flowering canopy unless they have indicated the change to the department through the registration renewal process.  Note that if you are using a tiered or shelving system, you have to include the surface area of each tier or shelf in that 500 square foot calculation.  The definition of “plant canopy” is the same as it is for adult use:

7-B. Plant canopy. “Plant canopy” means the total surface area within a cultivation area that is dedicated to the cultivation of mature marijuana plants. The surface area of the plant canopy must be calculated in square feet and measured using the outside boundaries of the area and must include all of the area within the boundaries. If the surface area of the plant canopy consists of noncontiguous areas, each component area must be separated by identifiable boundaries. If a tiered or shelving system is used in the cultivation area the surface area of each tier or shelf must be included in calculating the area of the plant canopy. Calculation of the area of the plant canopy may not include the areas within the cultivation area that are used to cultivate immature marijuana plants and seedlings and that are not used at any time to cultivate mature marijuana plants.

If you have questions about this change in the law, please contact a member of Drummond Woodsum’s Regulated Substances group.