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Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Maine. Maine voters approved Question 2 of the citizen bill on November 2, 1999, legalizing medical cannabis for treating some medical conditions. In November 2009, the state voters approved Question 5 (LD 975) on the ballot, which expanded the qualifying medical conditions for marijuana treatment and permitted the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The Office of Cannabis Policy (OMP) under the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) administers the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP).
Registered medical marijuana patients in Maine can legally obtain cannabis products from medical marijuana dispensaries. Furthermore, medical marijuana patients from other states who have valid patient identification cards may purchase cannabis products from dispensaries in Maine. According to Chapter 558-C of the Maine Revised Statutes (the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act), registered medical marijuana dispensaries can dispense up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis products to each patient at once. Per Section 3 of the Rules Governing the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana, the medical conditions that may qualify patients for marijuana treatment are:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
Severe muscle spasms
Yes. The provisions of Section 2423-A of the Maine Revised Statutes permit registered medical marijuana patients in the state to grow up to six mature cannabis plants, 12 immature cannabis plants, and an unlimited number of marijuana seedlings at home. Registered medical marijuana patients, who are 18 years or older, may grow marijuana plants themselves or designate caregivers to cultivate marijuana plants on their behalf. However, medical marijuana patients under the age of 18 cannot grow marijuana plants by themselves at home.
According to Section 2423-A of the Maine Revised Statutes, the parents or legal guardians of minors using medical marijuana may designate caregivers to cultivate cannabis plants on behalf of their wards. Caregivers are allowed to grow a maximum of 30 mature cannabis plants, 60 immature cannabis plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings. Per the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, medical marijuana cultivation areas in the state must be enclosed and locked to restrict access by unauthorized persons.
Medical marijuana patients in Maine cannot legally use cannabis products without consulting with healthcare providers. When a person sees a qualified healthcare practitioner, the practitioner will check whether the patient can benefit from medical marijuana and may recommend it based on their professional opinion. According to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, the medical professionals that can legally approve medical marijuana for patients in Maine are:
Certified nurse practitioners
All medical providers must have accounts on the medical cannabis certifications online portal before they can certify patients for medical marijuana treatment. The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) does not maintain a registry of approved medical providers that can recommend medical marijuana treatment in the state.
The provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act allow persons under the age of 18 to use marijuana products for medical purposes. However, before a medical provider certifies a minor for medical marijuana, they must inform the patient and their parent or legal guardian about the possible risks and benefits of medical marijuana treatment.
A valid medical marijuana patient certification proves that a person is registered as a patient under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP). Therefore, persons with medical marijuana patient certifications may legally purchase cannabis products from dispensaries for medical use. To obtain a medical marijuana patient certification in Maine, a person must see a qualified medical provider who will evaluate them and review their medical records to determine whether medical marijuana treatment will be beneficial to them. If a qualified medical provider recommends medical marijuana for a patient, they will issue the patient a written certification for medical marijuana treatment.
When consulting with qualified medical providers, patients interested in using medical marijuana should take copies of their medical records, state-issued photo identification, and proof of residence in Maine. The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) regulates medical marijuana patient certifications and provides the order papers (cards) that medical providers use to certify patients.
According to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, medical marijuana caregivers are persons that provide care for registered medical marijuana patients and assist them with the preparation and/or administration of cannabis products. Per Section 2423-A(2) of the Maine Revised Statutes, they may cultivate marijuana plants on behalf of their patients and dispense cannabis products to them. Medical marijuana caregivers in Maine must be 21 years or older and have no past convictions for drug-related offenses. They are required to register with the Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) and obtain caregiver registry identification cards before they can legally operate in the state. The OCP does not automatically assign caregivers to patients but allows registered medical marijuana patients to name their caregivers. The provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act do not limit the number of patients that a medical marijuana caregiver in the state can oversee.
The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act does not specify the amount that persons with qualifying medical conditions in the state must pay for medical marijuana patient certifications. According to the Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP), the cost for patient certifications depends on the healthcare provider conducting the medical examination and issuing the certification. The OCP does not charge medical providers for patient certification cards. Persons with qualifying medical conditions who require financial aid may discuss with their healthcare providers to know if they can obtain their medical marijuana cards freely or for lower fees.
On the other hand, medical marijuana caregivers in Maine are required to pay varying amounts as application fees, depending on the number of plants they grow. The cost of medical cannabis caregiver application fees are as follows:
$240 for caregivers growing up to six mature and 12 immature cannabis plants
$480 for caregivers cultivating up to 12 mature and 24 immature marijuana plants
$720 for caregivers growing up to 18 mature and 36 immature marijuana plants
$960 for caregivers cultivating up to 24 mature and 48 immature cannabis plants
$1,200 for caregivers growing up to 30 mature and 60 immature marijuana plants
Registered medical marijuana patients in Maine are required to show their patient certifications and valid government-issued photo identification when visiting dispensaries to buy marijuana. The Maine Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) does not capture or store patients’ information under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP). Therefore, medical marijuana dispensaries in the state do not have databases for confirming patients’ registration in the MMMP. Nevertheless, they check patients’ IDs and medical marijuana certifications to ensure that the names on prescriptions match the identifications presented.
According to the provisions of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, a patient certification is valid for the duration specified by the healthcare provider that recommended the medical marijuana treatment. Nevertheless, all medical marijuana patient certifications in Maine expire after one year. A registered medical cannabis patient in Maine may renew their certification by booking an appointment with a qualified medical provider. The medical provider may issue a new patient certification if they consider medical marijuana to still be beneficial to the patient.