However, Because The Law Is Clear That There Can Be No Remuneration For Transfers Of Non-medical, Personal Use Cannabis, Its Not Advisable To Try To Make An End Run By Calling An Exchange A Gift Or Donation.

As Mainers without medical cards patiently await the day when they can walk into a retail cannabis store and buy a brownie or an eighth of their favorite strain, some entrepreneurial growers have decided to get a head start. Despite the Marijuana Legalization Acts provision that those without a retail license may only transfer recreational cannabis without remuneration, the frequent questions I receive on the subject reveal that many growers are looking for ways to skirt that restriction. These imaginative proposalsinclude accepting donations or fees (e.g., for packaging and handling) in exchange for cannabis; trading cannabis for other goods or services; or bundling it as a free gift with the sale of other items. However, because the law is clear that there can be no remuneration for transfers of non-medical, personal use cannabis, its not advisable to try to make an end run by calling an exchange a gift or donation. You dont have to take my word for it: History teaches us that these schemes, while imaginative, have been tried and have failed spectacularly in other states. For instance, after home cultivation was legalized in Colorado starting in December 2012, but before retail sales began in 2014, many people tried to evade Colorados without remuneration requirement by offering free cannabis in exchange for a monetary donation or purchase of a different product. Law enforcement and the courts werent impressed, and by January 2013 multiple arrests had been made for such attempts to collect donations in exchange for free cannabis. In Washington D.C. in 2016, Nicholas Cunningham, owner Kush Gods, a cannabisediblesdelivery service, became part of another cautionary tale after he pleaded Medical marijuana stocks guilty to two counts of marijuana distribution for accepting donations in exchange for edibles. The takeaway here is that theres nothing new under the sun: Creative cannabis donation and gift arrangements have been tried before, and failed. The result is likely to be the same in Maine. The litmus test is whether there is an exchange of value, a quid pro quo.

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