Becoming a Patient in Maine

Talk to your primary care physician about cannabis. Maine law specifies that your certifying doctor must have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with you and make a full assessment of your medical history and current condition. Your doctor's recommendation must be in writing and certify that you are likely to benefit from the medical use of cannabis; so long as this is the case, any doctor licensed to practice medicine in the state of Maine at the time of the recommendation can recommend cannabis to their patient.

If you are already medicating with cannabis on your own, tell your doctor specifically how it helps you. Honestly describe the amount of cannabis you use, how often, and by what delivery method.

There is nothing wrong with using medical cannabis or discussing it with your doctor. A federal court has ruled that, under the First Amendment, doctors may not be punished by the DEA for recommending medical cannabis. But if your primary care doctor does not issue medical cannabis recommendations, you may need to visit a medical cannabis specialist, though state law says you must be under the care of the recommending physician for more than the purpose of being certified.

Once you have a doctor's recommendation, you'll have to obtain a registry identification card. The patient registry identification card is voluntary and free. Patients who possess a medical marijuana registry ID card issued by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services are required to have the card with them whenever they are in possession of cannabis. State law enforcement recognizes the card as proof of patient status, but registration is not necessary to qualify for legal protections.

Program application, forms, and instructions for patients, caregivers and physicians can be found online at: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use/

The Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program is administered by the Licensing and Regulatory Services office of DHHS:

Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Operations
286 Water Street, 5th Floor Augusta, ME 04333
Tel: (207) 287-4325;
Toll Free: 1-855-355-4325
Fax: (207) 287-2671
Email: [email protected]

Applications are to be submitted by mail. The registry ID card and the physician certification form expire on the same date. The expiration date is determined by the physician but can be no more than a year from issue. At least 30 days before a card expires, the registered patient must submit the annual renewal form with all required documentation.

Becoming a Patient as a Minor:

A minor-patient's application must include parental consent and they must have their parent or legal guardian apply as caregiver on their behalf. In their role as caregiver, the parent or legal custodian/guardian must monitor the frequency of the cannabis dosage and control overall administration. You will need to submit copies of any documents establishing parental relationship or legal guardianship with the application.

Similar to an adult, a minor seeking treatment should ask their primary care doctor about recommending cannabis. With respect to minors, a physician must explain the risks & benefits of medical use of marijuana to the patient and parent or legal custodian/guardian. A second opinion from a consulting physician must also be obtained.

Benefits of Being a Patient:

Maine protects patients and caregivers from being discriminated against by schools, employers, or landlords because of your status as a qualifying patient or caregiver. These protections do not apply if they would cause a school, employer, or landlord to risk losing federal funding or cause them to violate federal law. If smoking is prohibited in an area, including an apartment, then this will apply to medical cannabis as well as to tobacco.

Becoming a patient in Maine also grants you access to Maine's network of caregivers who are some of the best cultivators and processors in the world.

Becoming a Caregiver:

Patients may designate a primary caregiver to assist the patient with medical use of marijuana and cultivation of marijuana. A caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and may not have been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense.

Caregivers are authorized to operate a retail store, cultivate up to 60 mature plants, purchase wholesale cannabis from other caregivers, transfer products to patients and other caregivers, and manufacture edible products.

Caregivers must register with the state and pay registration fees which range from $240 to $2400 and include a $31 background check fee. Caregivers must also obtain a food establishment license prior to preparing goods containing marijuana for consumption by patients.

Out of State Patients:

A visiting medical cannabis patient with an equivalent ID issued by another state is protected by Maine's medical cannabis laws provided the patient has a valid medical cannabis card issued by their home jurisdiction and a valid drivers licence or other form of photo ID from the same jurisdiction. If your medical ID and photo ID are from different jurisdictions, you will not be allowed to shop at Maine's medical cannabis retail locations or caregiver storefronts. There are however a few retail locations open to all adults over 21.

Home Cultivation:

Any adult over the age of 21 may grow up to six mature plants in a secure location, either indoors or in a fenced area. A household with 2 adults can have up to 12 mature plants at a time. While the law has specific limitations on mature plants, no restrictions exist on clones or immature plants. The law defines "mature plants" as a plant that is flowering, meaning a plant at any stage before flowering is considered immature in the eyes of the law.