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Recommending Cannabis in Maine
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be licensed as an osteopathic physician by the Board of Osteopathic Licensure pursuant to Title 32, chapter 36 or a person licensed as a physician or surgeon by the Board of Licensure in Medicine pursuant to Title 32, chapter 48 who is in good standing and who holds a valid federal Drug Enforcement Administration license to prescribe drugs. Recommending physicians must be able to demonstrate a bona fide physician/patient relationship that will include ongoing monitoring of patient's medical condition. The physician must also caution patients not to engage in hazardous activities while under the influence of marijuana, and inform patients of the risks & benefits of medical use of marijuana and that the patient may benefit from use.
Physicians providing written certification to a qualifying patient must use a DHHS-approved certification form on tamper-resistant paper. The recommending physician shall not disclose the patient’s specific medical condition on the issued written certification. This written certification must include the date that it was issued and the expiration date of the certification (a written certification expires one year after it is issued by the recommending physician). They must also maintain records supporting their decision to recommend medical marijuana.
The DHHS-approved certification can be found at: https://www1.maine.gov/online/medmarijuana/index.html
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. The parent or legal custodian/guardian of the minor must also provide written consent of the minor’s medical use of marijuana, and must serve as the minor’s caretaker.
Qualifying medical conditions include:
- Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, nail-patella syndrome or the treatment of these conditions;
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces intractable pain, which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medical or surgical measures for more than 6 months;
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe nausea; or seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy;
- Any other medical condition or its treatment as approved by the DHHS; or
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and other diseases causing severe and persistent muscle spasms.