CONSULTATION FEE RANGE
- $49- $200
MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS
- A MAXIMUM OF 2.5 OUNCES OF MARIJUANA FLOWER EVERY 14 DAYS; EIGHT POUNDS OF HARVESTED MARIJUANA
MINIMUM AGE LIMIT
Maine has a long and colorful history regarding marijuana and the law. In 1913, it became the second state (after Massachusetts) to ban the drug. Maine was almost a quarter of a century ahead of the curve. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 ultimately prohibited cannabis nationwide.
In 1976, Maine became only the third state to decriminalize the possession of cannabis in small amounts. Then, in 1999, 62% of the state voted yes on the “Maine Medical Marijuana for Specific Illnesses” statute (otherwise known as Question 2). It officially legalized cannabis for medicinal use with the diagnosis of a qualifying condition.
Are you looking to get a medical marijuana card in Maine? We’re here to help!
At one time, getting an ME medical card was a confusing process. However, the state implemented changes some time ago, making it quicker and easier than ever. Indeed, it is now possible to get approved online in minutes. In this guide, find out everything you need to know about getting a Maine medical marijuana card.
Maine Medical Marijuana Laws
The state of Maine is one of the best in the country regarding adult-use cannabis possession limits. It is now legal for adults aged 21+ to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. After this point, you can serve up to six months in prison for possessing over 2.5 ounces but less than eight ounces. Serious jail time beckons if caught with over a pound of marijuana. Being convicted of this crime could result in a five-year prison term.
Meanwhile, selling any amount of cannabis without a license could result in 12 months in prison. While adults can grow a maximum of three plants, being caught cultivating four or more is punishable by up to a year in prison.
At this point, you might wonder why you should consider getting legal medical marijuana when the recreational variety is available. After all, Maine medical marijuana laws don’t allow for a higher possession limit.
At least, that’s what many people think. Indeed, MMJ patients can only have up to 2.5 ounces of prepared marijuana. However, they can have up to eight pounds of harvested cannabis. Also, a medical marijuana patient in Maine can grow twice as many mature plants as recreational users. Furthermore, a caregiver can cultivate significantly more plants, as we highlight a little later.
You can use MMJ aged 18+, whereas recreational users must wait another three years. Finally, you can use your Maine MMJ card to purchase cannabis in states with reciprocity programs. Now that you know a few advantages of medical marijuana in Maine, here’s your guide to getting the card.
How to Get a Maine Medical Marijuana Card
Fortunately, only a few steps are involved in applying for an MMJ card in Maine with the right records and certification.
Step 1 – Get in Touch with an ME Healthcare Provider & Schedule a Consultation
In other MMJ programs, you get a valid card from the state. This is not the case in Maine. Instead, your physician is entirely responsible for evaluating and examining your medical records. They also decide whether you are eligible.
The only things you need to bring to the physician’s office for your initial MMJ consultation are the following:
- Proof of Maine residence: Most people use their valid Maine driver’s license.
- A valid form of payment: This is for the cost of the physician consultation. Most Maine marijuana doctors accept cash and major debit/credit cards. However, many will require payment before the visit.
- Copies of your medical records: You need to bring copies of your medical records showing a diagnosis of one of the acceptable qualifying conditions. Otherwise, the MMJ doctor will likely not issue your certification on the same day. Their office will provide you with a Medical Release Form and assist you with obtaining your records from previous doctor’s offices. **
**A federal law from 2004 requires all healthcare providers to issue patients a copy of their medical records within 15 days of a formal request. What if the office states otherwise or refuses to release the documents? In that case, you may notify them (verbally and in writing) that you will report them to the Maine Medical Board. You DO NOT have to provide a reason for a copy of the records. **
Step 2 – Sign up for a Maine State Government Account
Next, your physician creates an account with the Medical Marijuana Certifications Online Services by providing their Access Code and License Number. Finally, they issue a medical marijuana certification. Sometimes, this happens within hours of your initial consultation.
Don’t expect every physician in Maine to provide you with certification, though. Despite the law allowing recreational cannabis, not every doctor believes it is a good idea. If your primary care physician is anti-cannabis, plenty of MMJ doctors in Maine are happy to consult with you.
Step 3 – Visit a Dispensary
Once you are deemed a qualified patient, the physician’s office will print your “Tamper Proof” MMJ Certificate. At this point, you can legally buy cannabis from one of the state’s licensed dispensaries.
Your physician will ask how you want to receive your meds. You have three options:
- Grow your marijuana
- Purchase from a licensed dispensary
- Use a designated caregiver
Who Can Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in ME?
To apply for a medical marijuana card in ME, you must be aged 18+ and a resident of Maine or a Visiting Qualifying Patient with a qualifying condition. Out-of-state applicants must have their Registry ID Card from their home state, a photo ID, certification from their home state, and a copy of the visiting qualifying provider certification obtained in Maine to get MMJ.
Cost of MMJ Card in ME
There is no fee for the MMJ card, but this doesn’t mean there’s no medical marijuana card cost in ME. You can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a physician consultation.
ME MMJ Card Qualifying Conditions
You must receive a diagnosis for a specific qualifying condition from a licensed Maine medical professional. You must also provide documentation of the diagnosis in your medical records. The list of current ME medical marijuana card qualifying conditions includes:
- Chronic Pain (which has not responded to conventional therapy for more than six months)
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C (active form)
- Seizure disorders
- Severe muscle spasms (including MS)
- Severe nausea
Of course, the only condition open to interpretation is chronic pain. As such, patients “faking” the illness is a danger. Maine counters this by implementing a protocol regarding a chronic pain diagnosis. It defines the condition as documented pain that “has not responded to conventional therapy” for more than six months.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in ME?
Once you schedule a consultation and are approved by a doctor, you will receive your valid written certification, which must be made from tamper-proof paper signed by a medical provider. Physicians receive this special paper from the Office of Cannabis Policy free of charge. If you complete an online consultation, the provider should mail you the certificate within 7-10 days.
How to Renew My Maine Medical Card?
Your Maine MMJ card lasts one year from the date it was issued. You (or your caregiver) must contact the issuing physician’s office to send for renewal at least 30 days before the card’s expiration date. Maine has no renewal fee if you do it on time, but you must pay for a new consultation.
You must meet with the physician or nurse practitioner again with your medical records to prove your continuing eligibility. Your primary caregiver pays a $10 renewal fee. The annual physician’s visit will cost the same as the initial fee.
Other Information on the ME Medical Marijuana License Process
The MMJ program in Maine isn’t necessarily straightforward. Here is some crucial information for those looking to apply.
What Types of Cannabis Can I Purchase in ME?
Once you have an MMJ card in Maine, there is a huge range of products to choose from. You’re free to buy marijuana flower, edibles, concentrates, pre-rolls, cartridges, topicals, and more.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in ME Online
Services such as Leafwell make it quick and easy to get your MMJ card online. Indeed, you can get it without leaving your home. Registering online takes only a few minutes, and you should get to talk to a doctor almost immediately. Should they decide you’re eligible for an MMJ card, you will receive the certificate in the mail. Then you’re free to purchase from a Maine dispensary.
Can I Register My Child for Medical Marijuana in ME?
Yes, applicants aged 17 or under can apply for an MMJ card in Maine. However, such patients need the consent of a parent or legal guardian to proceed, and this responsible adult must also act as the minor’s caregiver.
Where Can I Purchase MMJ in Maine?
Before Maine legalized recreational cannabis, eight medical marijuana dispensaries served different parts of the state. There are now dozens of active dispensaries (MMJ and recreational), with many more likely to open soon. However, most of them sell adult-use weed.
The eight MMJ dispensary limit was in place until 2021, when the Office of Marijuana Policy finally opened the application process for new medical marijuana dispensaries. At that point, three of the original eight businesses had converted to the adult-use program, meaning that new MMJ dispensaries were badly needed in Maine.
Only the patient and their primary caregiver were allowed into a dispensary when the program began. However, now that recreational cannabis is legal, anyone aged 21+ can enter. Minors can only visit a dispensary with a parent/guardian on their initial intake appointment. Most dispensaries in Maine have a price structure designed to make marijuana affordable for all patients.
Please note that MMJ and adult-use marijuana can’t be purchased from the same dispensary. Unless a company has changed its license or has a separate retail location, MMJ dispensaries and caregiver retail stores can only sell cannabis products to patients with valid MMJ cards.
How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?
Depending on the physician’s recommendation, you can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of prepared dry cannabis flower every 14 days. You can also possess up to eight pounds of harvested marijuana. Finally, the maximum limit for cannabis concentrate possession is five grams.
Can You Grow Marijuana in Maine with a Medical Marijuana Card?
Yes, you are allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants within your private residence. If you rent, consult with your landlord before attempting to grow. Also, caregivers can cultivate many more plants on a patient’s behalf.
Where Can I Use My MMJ?
The use of marijuana in public places is illegal. Therefore, whether you use weed recreationally or for medicinal purposes, you must consume it within the confines of private property.
Does Maine Accept Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards?
Yes. The Maine MMJ program offers reciprocity to out-of-state patients as long as they can produce a valid certification from their home state. They must also have a valid ID.
What Are the Caregiver Rules?
A registered caregiver is an individual licensed to grow medical marijuana and provide it to qualified medical patients. There is no longer a limit on how many MMJ patients a caregiver can serve.
All patients must register with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Caregivers provide patients with personalized guidance and support. Only individuals aged 21+ with no convictions for a disqualifying drug offense can become caregivers in Maine.
A licensed Maine caregiver can possess and cultivate marijuana on your behalf. This is as long as they are registered with the state and receive a valid I.D card.
Moreover, unlike many states, Maine allows you to have a second primary caregiver under the following circumstances:
- The patient is a qualifying minor (under 18), and the first caregiver is the patient’s parent or legal guardian.
- An adult patient is incapacitated, and the first caregiver is the patient’s health care power of attorney or legal guardian.
- The patient is registered in a nursing facility or hospice.
Primary caregivers can possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana. They can also grow up to 30 mature plants (or 500 square feet of plant canopy), 60 immature cannabis plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings.
Caregivers that cultivate have to pay $31 for a criminal background check. It costs $1,231 per annum to grow the maximum number of plants (the $31 fee for the background check and a $1,200 fee for cultivating the plants).
Caregivers in Maine can sell MMJ plants to, and purchase them from, other caregivers. Also, as an MMJ patient, you can donate up to 2.5 ounces to a fellow MMJ patient, as long as they had none before you gifted it to them.
What If I Lose My Medical Card in Maine?
If you misplace your card or need a replacement for any reason, it will cost $25.
When Did Medical Marijuana in Maine Become Legal?
Maine was one of the first states in America to implement a medical marijuana program. On November 2, 1999, 62% of voters said “yes” to Question 2, legalizing weed in the state. Maine had long since decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, becoming the third American state to do so in 1976.
In 2009, LD 250 ensured that the possession of up to 2.5 ounces was a civil infraction. Finally, in 2016, 50.26% of voters said “yes” to Question 1, legalizing recreational marijuana in Maine. However, it took four years for sales to officially begin in October 2020.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Portland
Getting an MMJ card in Portland is easy, as many doctors are willing to provide certification. Once you have your MMJ card, look for a dispensary in the city that specializes in medical marijuana.
MMJ Card for Veterans in ME
PTSD and chronic pain are among the qualifying conditions for MMJ in Maine. It is also a good idea to see if any clinics offer military veterans discounts on consultations.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Maine Medical Marijuana Card
With recreational sales beginning in late 2020 and a generous 2.5-ounce possession limit, the Maine medical marijuana card program may attract fewer applicants. However, having an MMJ card lets you possess up to eight pounds of harvested cannabis, and your caregiver can cultivate up to 30 plants. Best of all, it is possible to get your card in minutes online for approximately $49.