The state of Maine has a long and colorful history when it comes to marijuana and the law. In 1913, it became the second state, after Massachusetts, to ban the drug but in 1976, it was only the third state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of weed. In 1999, 62% of the state’s population voted yes on Question 2 and marijuana was legalized for medicinal use.
The drug was decriminalized once again in 2009 as Governor John Baldacci signed LD 250, a piece of legislation that classified the possession of fewer than 2.5 ounces of cannabis as a ‘civil infraction.’
At the time of writing, the legal status of marijuana in Maine is a little murky. The Marijuana Legalization Act was introduced in 2016 and was supposed to take effect within 40 days of November 8. According to this law, you are allowed to use and grow cannabis legally for recreational use if you’re not involved in the medical program.
However, there are calls to veto the program. You can grow a maximum of six mature marijuana plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces for personal use but you can’t sell it, and you still need a medical marijuana card to buy it.
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There are some stiff penalties for illegal sale or purchase of weed in Maine. For example, possession of 2.5+ ounces can result in a six-month prison sentence. Here is a list of the fines and penalties:
What Are the Medical Marijuana Card Eligibility Criteria in Maine?
Here is the list of qualifying medical conditions:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Seizures, this includes seizures associated with epilepsy
- Severe Nausea
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Nail-patella Syndrome
- Chronic pain; classified as pain that has not responded to traditional treatments for at least six months
How Do I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Maine?
Step 1 – Find a Physician in Maine
If you suffer from one of the medical conditions mentioned above, you have to find a doctor in Maine that is willing to prescribe you medical marijuana. Here is a list of physicians known to provide this service. The average cost of an evaluation is $250-$300. Once your doctor prescribes the medical weed, you need to send the appropriate documentation to the following address:
Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP)
Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services
Department of Health and Human Services
286 Water Street, 5th Floor
Augusta, ME 04333
Step 2 – Documentation
If you have the requisite documentation, your physician could send the application for you. First of all, you must be 18+ years of age. Then, you have to include a valid Maine I.D. Card or a Maine Driver’s License.
Step 3 – Sending the Application
Once everything is in place, you need to complete the application form. You should receive your card within 7-10 business days. It costs $100 although the price is reduced to $75 if you are a patient on MaineCare.
What Happens When I Am Approved for a Medical Marijuana Card in Delaware?
The medical marijuana law in Maine created the Maine Patient Registry which is a voluntary registry I.D. program. It is free to join, but caregivers have to pay $300 per patient. Once you have received approval, you can purchase marijuana from one of these five dispensaries. You are also allowed to grow six marijuana plants, but only three of them can be mature.
What About Primary Caregivers?
Your primary caregiver must be at least 21 years of age. He/she must have never been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense. The caregiver can possess and cultivate marijuana on your behalf as long as they register with the state and receive an I.D card.
Unlike many states, Maine allows you to have a second primary caregiver under the following circumstances:
- If the patient is a qualifying minor (under the age of 18) as the first caregiver is the patient’s parent or legal guardian.
- If an adult patient is incapacitated since the first caregiver is the patient’s health care power of attorney or their legal guardian.
- If the patient is registered in a nursing facility or hospice.
- Primary caregivers in the state of Maine are allowed to grow up to six plants and possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana. They are also allowed a maximum of five patients with six plants per patient. Caregivers that cultivate have to pay $300 per patient, $31 for a criminal background check and $300 per patient for each annual renewal.
How Do I Renew My Medical Marijuana Card in Maine?
Your MMJ card lasts for one year from the date it was issued. You and your primary caregiver have to send the annual renewal form at least 30 days before the card’s expiry date. Your primary caregiver has to pay a $10 renewal fee, and your annual physician’s visit will cost an average of $150.
Additional Information About the Medical Marijuana Card in Maine
As well as the possession and growing limits, you are also allowed to grow up to 12 female non-flowering plants.
The state of Maine has a dispensary program, so only locations that are registered under the rules of the medical marijuana program are allowed to provide patients with marijuana. This means the dispensaries have to operate on a not-for-profit basis.
There are also specific cultivation facility rules. For example, excess unused marijuana can be moved from one qualified patient to another as long as both patients remain within the legal limit.
For example, if you are a patient with four ounces of cannabis, you can provide another registered patient with 1.5+ ounces. If a dispensary has excess unused weed, it can legally give it to a patient for free if that individual is unable to afford it.
Only the patient and their primary caregiver are allowed into a dispensary and minors are not allowed entry under any circumstances. Most dispensaries in Maine have a price structure designed to make the medicine affordable for all patients.
Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Let us help by Starting Here