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Cohen Law Maine Compliance Update – Tobacco Products

Cohen Law Maine breaks down a common question from caregivers, and reviews how to stay compliant while selling “tobacco products” such as rolling papers, vape pens and cartridges, and more. Please keep in mind that our blog posts do not establish an attorney-client relationship and should not be considered as legal advice.

We’ve heard a common question:

Can a Caregiver sell “tobacco products”, such as rolling papers, vape pens and cartridges, to medical patients under the age of 21?

The answer is “NO”

Here is the official word from OMP:

“Sale of items defined as tobacco products are regulated by the tobacco retail law, which limits sales to people 21 years of age and older. Attached is a highlighted PDF of the relevant title and subsection for reference. Engaging in sales also requires that the seller have a valid tobacco retailer license.”

Cohen Law Maine followed up with OMP to get additional clarification and was provided this explanation:

“OMP does not regulate the sale of tobacco products, that is done by statute. OMP requires program participants that retail any item defined by statute as a tobacco product to adhere to the laws regulating the sale of those tobacco products (i.e., sales only to 21+, have a valid tobacco retailer license, etc.). The restriction on the sale of smokable products to patients under 18 is addressed in Title 22, Subsection 2423-A, paragraph 1-M and is not related to the tobacco retail law. Patients over 18 but not yet 21 can purchase smokable items such as flower, provided that the item isn’t classified as a tobacco product (as are vape cartridges and pre-rolls). However, retailers are prohibited from selling pipes, wrapping papers, e-cigarette pens, or other such defined ‘tobacco products’ to a customer under 21 in order to be in compliance with the tobacco retailer statute. I fully understand that this presents challenges for caregivers. It would make sense to have a carve-out to exempt THC and CBD products from the current tobacco products definition, but that would need to be addressed through the legislative process as it’s currently defined by statute.”

The Bottom Line:

Caregivers cannot sell pre-rolls, cartridges, rolling papers, lighters, vape batteries, pipes and similar items to patients under 21.

If you sell pre-rolls, cartridges, rolling papers, lighters, vape batteries, pipes and similar items directly to patients and have not obtained a State Tobacco License, click the link to access the Retail Tobacco Application – along with the statutory language (Tobacco Items Statute) as highlighted by the OMP investigator that we have been working with on this issue.

Please reach out to Cohen Law Maine if you feel you need assistance determining whether you are currently compliant with all Maine laws surrounding the Medical Cannabis Program here in Maine.