As defined in LD 975 (An Act To Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act), a medical marijuana caregiver is a person who agrees to assist a qualifying patient with the medical use of cannabis. Medical marijuana caregivers (primary caregivers) help registered medical marijuana patients administer, purchase, and transport cannabis products for personal use. They may also prepare cannabis products for their patients. Maine medical marijuana caregivers can manage up to five qualifying patients at once, including family members diagnosed with qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana treatment.
In Maine, minors (persons under 18 years) cannot get medical marijuana treatment unless their parents, legal custodians, or guardians, approve and agree to serve as their primary caregivers. Elderly and terminally ill patients who cannot access or properly dose medical marijuana products by themselves also require caregivers to assist them.
The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP), under the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), issues registry identification cards to primary caregivers in the state. A medical marijuana caregiver registry identification card proves that a caregiver is enrolled in the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP) and is authorized to legally purchase cannabis products from dispensaries on behalf of their patients. Per the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, primary caregivers in the state may receive remuneration from their patients for the services they provide; the amount they get depends on their negotiations with patients. As stipulated in LD 975, medical marijuana caregivers in Maine must be residents of the state who are 21 years or older and have no prior convictions for drug-related offenses.
The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) allows prospective primary caregivers to apply for caregiver registry identification cards online or via mail. Nevertheless, the OCP prefers online applications and processes them faster than paper applications. To apply for a primary caregiver registry identification card online, the applicant should create an account on the regulatory licensing and permitting portal. Applicants will need to provide all the required information and upload the necessary documents (such as electronic copies of their government-issued photo identification) before submitting their online applications. After submission, they will get confirmation emails and notifications to pay the required $31 background check fee. These fee notifications are only sent to applicants who indicate that their most recent background checks were conducted over 12 months prior to their caregiver registry card applications.
The OCP reviews primary caregiver registry applications and sends emails to applicants informing them whether they have provided all the information required for their applications or not. Persons with missing documents will be required to provide additional documentation or clarification. On the other hand, Maine medical marijuana caregiver registry identification card applicants who provided complete application materials will receive notices to pay the requisite license application fee by email as well as payment instructions. After paying the fees, successful applicants will receive physical copies of their primary caregiver registry identification cards in the mail. The OCP provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete the Maine primary caregiver application online.
To apply for a Maine primary caregiver identification card by mail, the applicant should download and complete the OCP's medical use of marijuana program change/re-issue form. Afterward, they should attach the required documents and proof of application fee payment to the completed form and mail them to the OCP at:
Medical Use of Marijuana Program
Office Of Cannabis Policy
162 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0162
The OCP accepts application fee payments as bank checks or money orders made out to the Maine State Treasurer. According to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, the amounts that primary caregiver registry identification card applicants have to pay vary, depending on the number of marijuana plants they intend to grow. The primary caregiver registry identification card application fee amounts are:
As stipulated in the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, the Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) maintains a database of registered medical marijuana caregivers in the state. However, the information on the database is not available to the public. Prospective medical marijuana patients in Maine may find caregivers online through trade associations (such as the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine) and forums committed to educating patients and caregivers on medical marijuana use. There is no provision in the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act for remote primary caregiver operations.
Primary caregivers under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP) may hold, transport, and buy cannabis products on behalf of their patients. According to Section 2423-A(2) of the Maine Revised Statutes, a primary caregiver can legally supply up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana products to a qualified patient at once. Also, primary caregivers can legally possess all the marijuana plants they cultivate themselves.
Registered medical marijuana caregivers in Maine are allowed to grow marijuana plants on behalf of their patients in secure cultivation areas to restrict unauthorized access. Per the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, a primary caregiver may cultivate up to six marijuana plants per patient. Medical marijuana caregivers in Maine can grow a maximum of 30 mature and 60 immature cannabis plants. However, there is no limit to the number of marijuana seedlings a primary caregiver can have.