On March 23, 2020 Governor Mills signed into law LD 1545 (SP 482) “An Act Regarding the Testing of Adult Use Marijuana and Marijuana Products”.
This law creates new opportunities for citizens interested in working in the adult-use market by creating a new license category called “Sample Collector”. These Sample Collectors are required to follow specific sampling rules according to the Office of Marijuana Policy and Maine Centers for Disease Control in order to maintain an active license. In addition, licensees are not required to obtain local authorization like all other adult-use license types. This law allows a Sample Collector licensee to legally enter a facility, collect samples, and transport them to a testing facility. The Sample Collector will be responsible for maintaining all Chain of Custody and Manifest requirements until the samples are handed off to the testing laboratory.
This law not only provides new opportunities to Mainers, but also eases the difficulties testing labs have with supporting the large geography of the state. The previous law required testing labs to do all of the sampling at the facility requesting the tests. This created a huge cost and burden on the testing labs due to the limited number of labs and a large number of operators spread throughout the state. The new law (LD 1545 (SP 482)) allows operators to collect their own samples and deliver them to the laboratories, saving the additional costs associated with the labs’ sample collection. However, this part of the law expires on October 1, 2021. This gives the first testing laboratories more than a year to establish their sampling plan, hire employees, and service their customer base. The Sample Collector license stays in effect however, allowing those services to remain in place.
Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) has begun the process of developing regulations based on this new rule to ensure licensees have the proper guidelines to follow. These rules are expected to be in place before the official start of the adult-use market. For a more detailed description of the new law, click on the link below to see the law as written.