Maine Medical Marijuana Law
Today Maine is one of the 18 U.S. states that has legalized medical marijuana and one of the 37 states that has legalized cannabis for recreational use. Maine’s legislature was among the first to embrace and legalize medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option for patients who have been certified by licensed healthcare professionals.
It was the fifth state to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions. Since establishing its Medical Use of Marijuana Program, Maine has expanded from an 8-dispensary patient-centric system—one in each public health district—to 13 dispensaries, according to the Office of Cannabis Policy's 2021 annual report. In the same report, OCP noted the number of printed certifications, which has increased nearly 10% to 105,143 printed in 2021.
Because marijuana is both medically and recreationally legal in the state of Maine, understanding the distinction between each program's laws is important to determining which is right for you.
Maine Medical Marijuana Law History
Maine's history with medical marijuana began in November 1999 when voters approved Question 2, which allowed patients with certain medical conditions to cultivate and use limited amounts of cannabis for treatment as prescribed by a physician.
In November 2009, voters then approved Question 5, which established the Maine Medical Marijuana Act—a measure that created nonprofit dispensaries that provide patients with medical marijuana. The measure also established a statewide identification card system to protect patients from arrest.
Recreational marijuana became legal in November 2016, when Question 1, the Marijuana Legalization Act, was approved by voters. The measure permitted Maine adult residents over 21 to grow, own, and use marijuana. Question 1 was later amended to postpone retail marijuana product sales and keep any edible products illegal.
Marijuana Possession Laws in Maine
After legalizing adult use marijuana, Maine adults (21 years of age or older) are now permitted to use, possess, or transport up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of cannabis (flower), concentrate, and products, which cannot include more than 5 grams of concentrate. Adults can also use, possess, or transport marijuana paraphernalia.
Under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, adults in Maine can cultivate no more than 3 flowering cannabis plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings at their residence or on another adult’s property with the owner’s permission. Lastly, adult-use laws permit an adult to possess, cultivate, or transport at any one time up to 3 mature marijuana plants, 12 immature marijuana plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings and possess all the marijuana produced by such plants at the person's place of residence or at the location where the marijuana was cultivated.
According to state law, qualifying medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana or the same amount of a combination of flower, concentrate, and products, which cannot include more than 5 grams of concentrate. Also, medical marijuana patients can possess 8 pounds of harvested marijuana, 6 flowering plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings, and marijuana paraphernalia.
Maine Public Consumption Laws
Marijuana, whether medical or adult use, must be consumed at the user's residence or on private property with the property owner's explicit permission. Those who rent property should remember that property owners and rental companies can ban the possession and use of marijuana on their premises.
Under Maine law, the use of marijuana in any form—smoking, vaping, or eating—is not permitted in public places or on federal property. Violations of this law are punishable by a $100 fine.
Maine Cannabis DUI Laws
Maine's operating under the influence (OUI) laws for marijuana and other illicit drugs are unique compared with other states. In Maine, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or any other substance that impairs your judgment and ability to operate a motor vehicle.
However, there is no specific threshold for how much THC is too much to drive. This means that law enforcement officials can arrest drivers for marijuana impairment even if they do not have any evidence that the driver was actually impaired.
This can be problematic for drivers who use marijuana legally for medicinal purposes. They may have a valid prescription, but could still be arrested for OUI if they are pulled over by law enforcement.
Applying for a Maine Medical Marijuana Card?
Maine's process for obtaining certification for medical marijuana use is unique against other states. First, you as a patient are not required to register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP), unless you are a caregiver.
Over the years, Maine's process for obtaining a registry identification card has been simplified.
When MMMP was launched, Maine maintained a complete list of qualifying medical conditions, which included cancer, ALS, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In mid-2018, however, the qualifying condition list was eliminated, placing the determination of eligibility on certifying physicians.
If you are having difficulties with your medical use application, however, the Sanctuary is here to help. If you’re a Maine resident, contact us so we can assist you in your application and medical marijuana certification.
Yes. Maine voters effectively legalized the personal use of recreational marijuana in November 2016, with the approval of Question 1, an amendment to the Marijuana Legalization Act. The measure permits Maine adult residents over 21 to grow, purchase, and consume marijuana and its derived products.
Only registered patients and their primary caregivers can purchase medical cannabis. Also, dispensaries can only provide you with either medical cannabis or recreational cannabis for adult use—not both..
Registered patients and their caregivers can legally possess 8 pounds of harvested marijuana, 6 flowering plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings, and marijuana paraphernalia.>
A qualifying patient may also furnish, or offer to furnish, to another qualifying patient for that patient's medical use as much as 2.5 ounces of harvested marijuana for no remuneration.
With respect to the cultivation of marijuana, recent law changes permit a registered caregiver to maintain as many as two cultivation areas, the locations of which must be divulged to the state.
One of the caregiver's cultivation areas can contain 60 immature plants (or 1,000 square feet of canopy) and the second, as many as 30 mature plants (or 500 square feet of canopy).
There is a limit on the amount of product that a patient can possess. The amount cannot exceed 2.5 ounces of a combination of flower, concentrate, and products, which can't contain more than 5 grams of concentrate.
Yes, to certain states. As of June 6, 2019, medical patients visiting Maine wanting to purchase medical marijuana need only their state-issued registry ID card, certificate, or other state-issued documentation of their status as a medical cannabis patient in their resident state.
Patients from the following states can purchase medical cannabis while visiting Maine: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Washington, DC.
A guide for visiting patients can be found on OCP’s website.
A person cannot have any drug-related felony convictions on their record for ten years before applying for a Maine medical marijuana card.