Maine is a beautiful state with countless perks – lobster dinners, beachside sunsets, and a well-established medical marijuana program.
In fact, Maine was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana.
Whether you live there or you’re simply planning to visit, there’s a lot to learn about Maine’s medical marijuana program. Here’s everything you need to know.
In the state of Maine, both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are legal to purchase and possess.
Marijuana, however, remains illegal at the federal level. That’s why every state with legal medical marijuana often has very different rules and regulations — including Maine.
Maine became a frontrunner for safe and legal marijuana access when they legalized medical cannabis in 1999.
Their state medical marijuana program requires patients to obtain a medical marijuana card (MMJ card).
Likewise, the state determines who can qualify for an MMJ card, as well as where and how much medical marijuana a qualified patient can purchase.
Seventeen years after Maine legalized medical marijuana, the state voted in 2016 to legalize recreational marijuana. The Marijuana Legalization Act allows adults who are 21 and older to purchase marijuana for non-medical, personal use.
Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP), created in 2019, now handles the regulations and licensing for the purchase and sale of medical and recreational cannabis.
The sale of recreational marijuana did not become official until 2020. Maine residents can also grow up to three mature plants or 12 immature cannabis plants at home for personal use.
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While recreational marijuana is legal in Maine there are still benefits that come with obtaining a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana is regulated by medical dispensaries. This allows medical card holders to buy marijuana that can have a higher potency and higher quality than recreational marijuana.
Since medical cannabis is being used to help in the treatment of a medical condition, those with a card don’t have to worry about the quality of the product they are buying. Card holders are also the only ones that have access to purchase cannabis at a medical dispensary opening up the variety and availability of products.
There are also different age limits when it comes to having a medical card. Adults between the ages of 18 and 21 can obtain a medical marijuana card in Maine, while recreational users must be 21 and over to purchase and possess cannabis.
In Maine, applying for a medical marijuana registry identification card is fast and straightforward.
The state doesn’t require patients to have a specific medical diagnosis in order to be eligible for a card, but patients do need to see a doctor before they can apply.
Any adult can apply for a medical marijuana card if they have the approval of a Maine medical marijuana doctor.
Unlike most states where medical marijuana is legal, Maine does not mandate which health conditions qualify a patient to apply for an MMJ card.
If a patient and their doctor agree that the patient could benefit from medical marijuana, the doctor will give them a certification so that they can apply for a medical cannabis card.
The first step in getting a Maine medical marijuana card is to schedule a visit with your doctor.
If you don’t have a physician or want to speak with a doctor who has experience with medical marijuana, use a service like Marijuana Doctors to find one fast.
Their extensive database of physicians can connect you with experienced, local medical marijuana doctors. You can also use Marijuana Doctors to see reviews from other patients, book your first appointment, and search for nearby cannabis dispensaries.
Once you schedule an appointment, your cannabis doctor will evaluate your medical records and health history. They will also explain the benefits and risks of medical marijuana and answer any questions you may have.
If the doctor believes that medical marijuana is right for you, they will give you a certification.
The certification is an official doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana. You will need one in order to submit an application to the state medical marijuana program.
Even though anyone in Maine can inquire about an MMJ card, a doctor must confirm that medical marijuana won’t interfere with the patient’s health or other medications they may be taking.
Medical marijuana patients must be 18 years or older to apply for a card.
Minors can also apply for a card, but must have an appointed caregiver who can buy and store the medical marijuana on the minor’s behalf.
The caregiver must also register with the Maine Medical Use of Cannabis Program. To qualify as a caregiver, the person must be at least 21 years of age, a Maine resident, and not have any disqualifying drug offenses in their criminal history.
Minors can only use medical marijuana under the supervision of their caregiver.
In Maine, recreational marijuana use is limited to adults who are 21 and older.
As stated above, Maine’s medical marijuana laws do not outline which medical conditions can qualify a patient for an MMJ card.
Patients must still obtain a medical cannabis certification from a medical professional before they can apply.
In general, physicians tend to issue certifications to patients who suffer from illnesses that cause debilitating or chronic pain.
To get a better idea of which medical conditions your doctor might consider when evaluating you for a medical marijuana certification, it’s helpful to look at the qualifying conditions for other state-level MMJ programs.
Some of the most common qualifying medical conditions include, but are not limited to:
After a patient gets a certification from a doctor, they can apply online for their Maine medical marijuana med card.
Patients will need the following documents to apply for a medical marijuana card:
The patient will receive an email to confirm that their application has been received. It also notifies the patient that they must pay the $20 MMJ card registration fee before their application can move forward.
Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) conducts background checks on all applicants, including caregivers. If it has been more than 12 months since a patient’s last background check through the OCP, the applicant will be asked to pay a $31 background check fee in addition to the registration fee.
The medical marijuana card will be mailed to the patient upon approval by the OCP.
Although Maine’s medical and recreational marijuana laws are more relaxed than the laws in most states, they still limit how much marijuana a person can buy, grow, and possess.
Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, including no more than five grams of cannabis concentrate.
This limit applies to both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.
Adults may share or gift up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, along with no more than six seedlings or immature plants. The gift cannot be exchanged for any value and must be given to an adult who is 21 or older.
It is illegal in Maine to consume marijuana in public, smoking or otherwise. This restriction includes but is not limited to sporting events, sidewalks, and outdoor restaurants and cafes.
This means that marijuana use is limited to private property. Renters should check their tenant agreement or speak with their landlord to confirm whether smoking, or any other type of cannabis consumption, is allowed on the property.
Just like driving under the influence of alcohol, it is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis in Maine.
When driving home from a recreational or medical marijuana dispensary, it is illegal to have any open or visible cannabis products in a vehicle, including edibles.
Maine allows adults to grow their own marijuana (Cannabis sativa) plants, but must use fences or other barriers to conceal the plants from public view. That means the plants should not be visible to the naked eye when standing outside of the property.
Medical and recreational marijuana users may grow up to three mature plants and 12 immature plants, as well as unlimited seedlings.
If a person is growing marijuana plants outdoors, the plants must be tagged with the grower’s name, driver’s license or state ID number, and a note that the plants are being grown in accordance with the law.
Personal Adult Use: Title 28-B, Section 1502
Medical marijuana patients from approved states can visit and purchase cannabis products from Maine dispensaries, as long as they present their medical marijuana card.
If you live in one of the following states or districts and have a valid medical marijuana card or credential, you can purchase medical marijuana when visiting Maine:
It’s important to remember that because marijuana is still not legal under federal law, transporting or shipping medical marijuana across state lines can risk federal criminal charges.
It is against the law to leave Maine and take any type of marijuana product to another state.
In order to certify patients for medical marijuana in Maine, you must be a healthcare provider with the authority to prescribe controlled substances. Healthcare providers who can certify patients for medical marijuana are physicians, physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners.
You must also have an active license to practice medicine in Maine, and be in good standing with the state medical board.
Medical providers should use the OCP’s Certification Process portal to file the certification with the state.
It’s recommended that physicians stay up to date with the latest cannabis research, including which medical conditions are most likely to benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
Maine does not specify which health conditions qualify a patient for medical cannabis treatment.
For that reason, it is at your discretion how and when you certify a patient for medical marijuana.
Maine has one of the oldest medical cannabis programs in the country.
Even though recreational marijuana is now available in Maine for adults 21 and older to purchase, you should speak with your healthcare provider if you want to try using cannabis to alleviate pain or other debilitating symptoms of an illness or disease.
Searching the Marijuana Doctors database is the fastest way to find great local doctors with medical cannabis experience. Visit the site today to read physician profiles and patient reviews, schedule your first doctor’s evaluation, and browse the latest news about medical marijuana wellness and legislation.