In Growing Marijuana in Maine – ME Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how Maine residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana is legal in the Pine Tree State but if you are a patient with a debilitating condition, you may still want to get a medical marijuana card.
Overview of Medical Marijuana in Maine
In 1999, Maine residents voted in favor of Question 2, a citizen initiative ballot that sought to legalize the use of medical marijuana in the state.
You can read up on the rules here: Chapter 558-C – Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.
Maine’s medical marijuana law allows registered patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces. They may also cultivate up to 6 mature and 12 immature cannabis plants and an unlimited number of seedlings. Meanwhile, caregivers may cultivate up to 30 mature and 60 immature plants and unlimited seedlings depending on the number of patients they provide for. However, minors or incapacitated patients, as well as those in a nursing home, hospice facility, and those who are homeless are not allowed to grow.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- HIV or AIDS
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Maine has always been a state relatively lenient with marijuana and since 2018, doctors have been allowed under LD 1539 to recommend medical marijuana to any patient which they believe will benefit from it.
Even patients under 18 afflicted with a qualifying condition that needs medical marijuana can register for the program, as long as they do so with the help of their parents or legal guardians.
The rules for medical marijuana caregivers in Maine are a bit different. Like in other states, patients who are too ill to take care of themselves may designate a caregiver to assist them in purchasing, transporting, and cultivating marijuana. For minor patients, it is a requirement and the caregiver must be their parent or legal guardian. However, caregivers in Maine may also serve as many patients as they can and because of this, a lot of caregivers prefer to just grow and sell marijuana to other card holders. If you want to be a caregiver in Maine, you must be at least 21 years old and should not have been convicted of a disqualifying drug offense.
Why should you get a medical marijuana card in Maine?
Although recreational marijuana is legal in Maine, you can only grow up to 3 plants. Medical marijuana cardholders are allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants. Furthermore, medical cannabis is only subject to statewide sales tax and not excise taxes or local municipal taxes.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Maine
The process of registering into the Maine Medical Use Marijuana Program is somewhat different from other states. In Maine, patients can go directly to a healthcare provider who is licensed by the state and registered with the Office of Marijuana Policy. If your physician thinks that you will benefit from medical marijuana, they will enter your information into the Medical Marijuana Online Certifications Portal. Once you’ve been approved, you may fill out the application form at https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use/ to get a card which comes at no cost.
Caregiver applications in Maine are a bit different since they are allowed to cater to more than 2 patients, operate a retail store, grow a large number of cannabis plants, and even hire employees. Caregivers may apply by filling out the required forms and sending it via US mail or through the MMUMP portal. The cost of a caregiver application will depend on how many plants are to be grown or the canopy size, plus a background check fee of $31.
To get a Maine caregiver registry ID, applicants must submit a sales tax identification number along with the completed application. You can get this at the Maine Revenue Services’ Sales & Use, Withholding, and Service Provider Tax Registration page.
Completed applications can be sent to:
Medical Use of Marijuana Program
Office of Marijuana Policy
162 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0162
Tel: (207) 287-3282; Fax: (207) 287-2671; TTY users: Dial 711 (Maine Relay)
Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Maine Medical Marijuana Card
Since recreational marijuana is already legal in Maine, patients don’t really need to get a medical marijuana card. However, registering into the Maine MUMP can give patients higher cultivation limits and medical marijuana that is not subject to excise taxes or local municipal taxes.
Patients in Maine may qualify for medical marijuana as long as their physician gives them a recommendation.
A medical marijuana card is the only way minor patients with a debilitating condition can use cannabis in Maine. Registered MMJ cardholders may also grow 6 mature and 12 immature cannabis plants and an unlimited number of seedlings.
In Maine, you will be able to buy and cultivate medical marijuana right after your physician gives you a recommendation and you receive your card.
In Maine, it is free to register for a medical marijuana card. All you need to pay for is your consultation with your healthcare provider.
Medical marijuana patients in Maine may grow 6 mature and 12 immature cannabis plants and an unlimited number of seedlings.
Patients registered in Maine’s medical marijuana program may possess up to 2.5 ounces.
If you’re a patient in Maine who needs medical marijuana for your debilitating condition, you may want to get a patient registry identification card if you are planning to grow more than the recreational limit. Since medical marijuana is exempted from certain taxes, cardholders will also be able to cut down on their cannabis expenses.
Maine’s medical marijuana program also gives individuals the opportunity to put up a small marijuana business as a caregiver. However, the initial cost of applying as a caregiver can go over $200 in fees so this should be taken into consideration.