Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded all Justice Department marijuana policies from the Obama-era on Jan 4, 2018. Change is coming and the following information will be updated as it happens.
The U.S. Justice Department issued a policy in 2014 regarding marijuana on tribal lands. It allows federally-recognized tribes in states with legalized marijuana to decide their own policies and self-regulate the growing and sales of marijuana on their reservations.
Cannabis for medical uses was legalized in 1999 allowing patients to grow their own plants. The city of Portland legalized marijuana for recreational use and decriminalized its possession in 2013. South Portland did the same in 2014.
There are five federally-recognized tribes in Maine. The DOJ marijuana policy on tribal reservations applies to these Maine tribes. Each is federally recognized as sovereign by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Interior Department.
For a complete list of Maine tribes and their locations, see our page about Maine Tribes.
March 19, 2015
The Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Micmacs tribes are considering growing and selling marijuana on their reservation lands. The Penobscot Nation is not pursing a cannabis business.
August 3, 2016
The Passamaquoddy Tribe is licenseed by the state to grow hemp. Hemp is legal under Maine law.
A year earlier the tribe signed a letter of intent with a Colorado consultant to develop a 35,000-square-foot cultivation facility on their land, but later cancelled the agreement as tribes in other states encountered enforcement raids from local jurisdictions.