About Marijuana Laws in Maine
Maine’s medical cannabis program dates back to the 1990’s, with residents approving it by referendum in 1999. The Pine Tree State legalized recreational use of cannabis, with sales beginning in October 2020, a year after Gov. Janet Mills created the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) in 2019. The OMP took three years to form after the citizen-initiated referendum legalized medicinal cannabis in 2016.
According to the new state office, 2019 was a lucrative year for cannabis card registration in Maine, increasing by more than 42%, equaling 65,368 certified citizens. The OMP reports an increase of 5.4% of caregivers, equaling 2,596 new registrations. This increase comes after a complete expansion of the program in 2018. It is the most significant overhaul since the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP) was formed to enforce the Maine Medicinal Use of Marijuana Act.
According to the state, notable changes now include “eliminating all qualifying medical conditions from the medical program, allowing patient access, for any reason, at the certification of a registered medical provider.” Additional changes also include allowing a caregiver to assist more than one patient and permitting dispensaries to become for-profit businesses.
The OMP specifies that only residents of the state may apply for a medical marijuana card and that “The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program provides patient cards to registered providers.” In fact, the state has never charged medical providers for the Maine medical marijuana cards.
Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card
Maine initially only qualified residents for the medical cannabis program for specific health conditions, including:
However, all of these conditions were removed from the initial list. In 2018, the change in legislation made it permissible for certified providers to approve potential medical marijuana patients for a MMJ card based on any condition they deem treatable by the plant properties. Maine does not presently charge a registration fee for a state medical cannabis card, which offers more legal protection, product access, and lower costs for cardholders than for residents without a card. To qualify for a medical cannabis card, a resident must show proof of residency with a valid driver’s license or valid identification card.
Becoming a Caregiver in Maine
To become a caregiver in Maine, an applicant must be at least 21-years-old, be able to provide proof of residency, and not have a felony conviction on record. Caregivers are required to submit a medical use application with the OMP. Applications for caregiver registration or renewal are approved or denied within an average of 30 days.
Additionally, the caregiver must undergo a criminal background check for the cost of $31. The OMP outlines that the cost for a registry identification card varies (between $240 to $1,200) depending on the number of plants the caregiver grows. The most a registered caregiver may grow is 30 mature plants and 60 immature plants. Additionally, caregivers may obtain fair compensation from a patient for any expenses connected with cultivating cannabis on their behalf.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Maine
Patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of marijuana/marijuana products and no more than 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, according to the OMP.
Both medical marijuana patients and caregivers are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and six plants at a time without penalty. Additionally, a caregiver can have up to five patients at a time, cultivating up to six plants per patient. Recreational marijuana users in Maine who are 21 years of age or older may grow up to three mature cannabis plants, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings for personal use. Under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, these limitations do not apply to the cultivation of marijuana for medical use by a qualifying patient or registered caregiver.
MMJ Reciprocity in Maine
According to the Office of Marijuana Policy, the state of Maine has a reciprocity program in place with 26 states. Qualified patients from these states can use their MMJ card in Maine at a registered dispensary while they’re visiting.
Approved list of state cards accepted in Maine: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, DC.
Frequently Asked Questions
To qualify you’ll need to be 18 years of age or older and be a state resident. To prove your residency you’ll need at least two forms of identification and one of them must be a Maine driver’s license or a state ID card.Next, you’ll need to consult with a state registered physician that can evaluate you and provide a doctor’s recommendation for adult use of medical marijuana.
Veriheal has a network of highly qualified physicians registered with the state and can provide one for you, which is the most difficult part of the process. After meeting with a certified doctor in a virtual video consultation from the comfort of your own home, the doctor will determine your eligibility based on a qualifying condition(s). Consultations usually take 10 – 15 minutes.
The cost for the medical marijuana evaluation and approval with Veriheal is $199, with a full refund if not approved. Unlike other states with medical cannabis programs, Maine does not charge an annual card registration fee.
Maine has eliminated all qualifying medical conditions from the medical marijuana program. Now, the state allows licensed medical providers to qualify any condition they think may benefit from medical marijuana treatment. Therefore, chronic pain can be a qualifying condition.
That depends on the state you are visiting, which is why we put together a helpful resource that shows you which states accept out-of-state cannabis cards. You can also try to contact the local region in order to find out the medical cannabis rules and regulations there.