Maine Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

When Maine first created its Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP), it included a list of qualifying medical conditions considered by the state's department of health and human services to be treatable with cannabis. Maine residents diagnosed with qualifying medical conditions who might benefit from medical marijuana treatment could apply to participate in the MMMP, which is managed by the Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP).

Patients wanting to enter the program and shop at Maine dispensaries must first receive a recommendation from a licensed medical professional that certifies their debilitating condition can be treated with cannabis.

In mid-2018, however, a new medical marijuana law (LD 1539) gave certifying physicians the sole discretion to recommend cannabis for any patient whose condition they decided would benefit from cannabis treatment.

The following are some of the most qualifying medical conditions in Maine. If you’re diagnosed with one and approved to join the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program, you’ll be able to carry a medical cannabis card and visit licensed dispensaries.

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1: Chronic Pain

Thanks to its well-established analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain in patients with other medical conditions, including arthritis, cancer, and fibromyalgia.

Marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain in several ways, including smoking it, vaping it, and ingesting marijuana edibles. When smoked or vaped, the cannabinoid enters the lungs, then the bloodstream, then the brain where it interacts with the endocannabinoid system to reduce pain signals.

Edibles are an alternative for patients who’d rather not vape or smoke. Edibles take longer to take full effect, but their effects last longer.

2: Cancer

A number of past studies have concluded that medical marijuana can help decrease the severity of certain symptoms brought on in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some of these symptoms shown to respond to marijuana therapy include:

  • Chemotherapy-induced pain
  • Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite and weight loss

When used together with regular treatment, medical cannabis may provide certain benefits for Maine cancer patients. Specialists, however, caution that marijuana can’t treat cancer on its own, but adding cannabis to an existing treatment program can provide some patients with symptom relief.

3: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

For many patients with ALS, medical marijuana can decelerate the decline of their quality of life. The debilitating symptoms that ALS patients experience, such as muscle spasticity, can be mitigated with medical marijuana treatment.

Chronic pain—one of the many debilitating symptoms associated with ALS—can make living with the disorder overwhelming. Painkillers might work, but they can harm the liver and have addictive properties. On the other hand, medical marijuana can enhance the cannabinoids in your body that relieve pain.

ALS patients can also experience a reduced appetite. Many people joke about medical marijuana causing the munchies, but it can help by motivating patients to eat. When adult-use cannabis is combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, it can help cardholders with eating disorders develop a healthier relationship with food.

4: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Cannabis is known to contain more than 100 different cannabinoids, with each having a different effect on the body. In medicine, Delta 9 THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are the primary cannabinoids used for treatment of pain and inflammation, two of the major symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Although medical marijuana has not been proven to cure IBS, it may help relieve some of its symptoms. Medical marijuana has the potential to help reduce the pain that stems from cramps, bloating, and other discomforts associated with IBS.


Today, cannabis is still widely used by qualifying patients as a pain reliever, nausea treatment, weight loss aid, and depression therapy despite the fact that newer medicines for HIV status have substantially reduced the incidence and severity of the disease.

Also, some research has indicated that marijuana may provide long-term benefits by effectively slowing—or even preventing—the progression of the disease.

MMMP’s Initial List of Qualifying Medical Conditions

When Maine's MMMP was launched, there existed a complete list of health conditions for patients to consult. The list included a number of diseases as well as debilitating conditions, including cancer, ALS, and Alzheimer’s disease.

As of July 1, 2018, however, the MMMP no longer maintains a set list of conditions. Instead, the state has left the determination of MMMP eligibility up to the medical marijuana doctors conducting assessments of potential medical marijuana patients.

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis and severe muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Don’t Have A Qualifying Condition on This List

Don’t have a condition on the aforementioned list? Don’t worry. Maine's OCP could approve your other qualifying condition(s) and issue you an MMJ card based on your specific circumstances. If you are unable to apply for Maine's MMMP membership, you can appoint a designated caregiver to do so on your behalf.

Contact the Sanctuary Wellness Institute today to get connected with a licensed physician who can help you navigate the process of obtaining medical marijuana in the state of Maine.