Recreational marijuana use in Maine is legal. So, you may be asking yourself: is it still worth it to go about getting a medical marijuana card?
The answer is a resounding YES!
There are many benefits for patients. Including wider and better product selection, better legal protections, and saving money on purchases.
Keep reading to find out how you can get your Maine Medical Marijuana card.
Maine Medical Marijuana Program
Maine has allowed limited medical marijuana in the state since 1999. However, the medical cannabis laws lacked guidelines for distribution.
There were many questions for patients. Including how they could be compliant despite federal laws keeping marijuana illegal. But in November of 2009, voters approved Question 5.
This led to An Act to establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act. This Act established a statewide card system to identify patients. This way they can avoid unnecessary arrests or penalties.
It also established statewide dispensaries. That way patients had a safe place to legally purchase medication.
Maine was the fifth state in the county to open up dispensaries with medical-grade marijuana. Only patients with debilitating and chronic medical conditions could purchase medication from them.
Now, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services oversees the medical marijuana program.
The state passed the Marijuana Legalization Act in 2016. Now adult-use recreational cannabis is allowed in Maine.
Interestingly, medical patients and recreational users have the same possession limits. With or without a card you can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower. Or, you can possess up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Sure, getting a medical marijuana card doesn’t land you a higher possession limit. But, there are still plenty of reasons to get your card in Maine.
You benefit from wider legal protection. You can save money due to paying lower taxes, and you can choose from a wider number of products. There are even more reasons beyond these. We will touch on them more below.
Patients can buy a range of products. This includes cannabis flower, oils, tinctures, edibles, and more. You just can’t purchase more than the legal limit at one time.
Maine Medical Card Requirements
To qualify for the Maine medical marijuana program you need to be a state resident.
Visiting qualifying patients may also get a card in Maine. But visiting patients must already have a valid registry card from their home state. They will also need to provide a copy of their photo ID, and their certificate from their home state.
Visiting patients used to have to get a visiting qualifying provider certification from a physician in Maine. This is not a requirement anymore.
Anyone who wants to fill out an application on their own must be at least 18 years old. Minors need the help of a registered caregiver to complete an application.
Registered caregivers are someone who is allowed to assist with medical marijuana treatment. They must be at least 21 years old.
For a caregiver to qualify for the program they must meet some of their own requirements. They cannot have any drug, narcotics, or scheduled substance convictions. Caregivers will undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process.
It costs $300 per patient who registers a caregiver. Plus an additional $31 for the background check. You must pay the fees when you fill out and submit the caregiver designation form.
This form requires information related to the caregiver, the patient, and if there will be cultivation.
If you plan to cultivate marijuana you need to provide the following:
- planned cultivation location
- dispensing location
- all caregiver information
Maine Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions
Qualifying Conditions have been removed from Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program. This is thanks to LD 1539 and LD 238.
Now patients in Maine don’t have to worry about specific qualifying medical conditions. Anyone who can benefit from medical marijuana use may join the program.
You just need a physician to agree you may benefit from medical marijuana use. Then, you can receive a written recommendation.
The physician must be registered with the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services. This is a Division of the Department of Health and Human Services; the agency responsible for issuing certificates to patients.
Although there are no specific qualifying conditions the state program is not a free-for-all. There are still rules for those who apply.
For example, if you are seeking medical marijuana for chronic pain, there are some hoops to jump through.
You will need to prove that you have tried alternative treatment methods like medications or surgery. And that they have not been successful in treating your pain for at least 6 months.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card In Maine
The first step to becoming a medical cardholder in Maine is to speak with a licensed medical marijuana doctor to see if you qualify.
If a board-certified physician licensed to practice in Maine determines that you are eligible then they will issue you a written certification.
You can certainly meet with a physician in person to get your recommendation if you like. But, you will need to take the time to schedule an appointment and drive to their office.
Many people prefer the simplicity of getting a recommendation online. This option is much cheaper, convenient, and can be done in a fraction of the time it takes to see a doctor in an office.
The most well-established online service comes with a full money-back guarantee. This way you don’t have to risk paying the fees for nothing in case you fail to get a recommendation.
This is a great benefit of speaking with a doctor online. If you see a doctor in person and don’t get a recommendation there is no way to get your money back.
Getting your medical marijuana recommendation online saves you from any unnecessary financial risks. And it saves you time.
To get started all you have to do is follow the quick process below:
1. Consult With A Maine Certified Healthcare Professional
Again, this is the step you can choose to complete in person or online. A telehealth appointment is the fastest, most efficient way to complete this step.
Often telehealth appointments take as little as 15 minutes. This is because the physicians who work with MMJ telehealth services are experts in the field.
They are both well-versed in medical marijuana. And they know how it can improve conditions for all kinds of patients. Veriheal also offers cannabis coaching sessions to help your wellness goals and other questions.
They also already know the laws and regulations for your state. This is what helps them quickly chat with you about the key things related to MMJ treatment.
Another great thing about an online appointment is that you can complete one in the comfort of your own home. You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas if you don’t want to.
Simply schedule a time to meet with a medical marijuana doctor that works for you. Then, speak with them through your phone or computer when the appointment time comes.
The two services we recommend you check out are Leafwell and Veriheal. These are two of the most well-known, well-established platforms.
They are pros at connecting medical marijuana patients to the best licensed physicians in their state. They both have full money-back guarantees. So, patients who don’t qualify don’t have to waste any money.
These platforms offer more value than just written recommendations, too. They both have excellent resources for new medical marijuana patients. If you want to brush up on the basics of cannabis it is the perfect place to start.
And they have resources covering state-specific information. This way you can stay compliant, no matter where you live.
They also offer renewal services. They will contact you when it is nearing the time to start your renewal process.
To use either of these services you need to create an account. This can be done by providing some basic information such as your name, phone number, and email.
You will also need to pay the fees. You can upload your medical records as well. They are not required but can help your physician make the best determination about you and your treatment options.
Any information you submit is protected by state-of-the-art software. Everything is HIPAA compliant.
After you provide your information you can schedule an appointment time to speak with your physician. They will meet with you through a video chat.
The physician will discuss your health situation with you to see if medical marijuana can help alleviate any conditions. You can ask each other questions and discuss treatment plan options.
After your call, you will know if you are qualified or not. If so, the physician will provide you with a recommendation.
2. Receive Your Certificate
Once approved, you just have to wait patiently for your certificate to arrive in the mail. It will be sent to you from Leafwell, Veriheal, or the physician who provides you with a certification.
Leafwell sends their certificates on tamper-resistant paper. It should arrive about 7 to 10 business days after your appointment.
Veriheal sends their certificates in one to two weeks.
Once you get your certificate in the mail you can begin purchasing medical marijuana. You can buy it at any licensed dispensary in Maine.
This is different from most other states with a medical marijuana program. Many states require patients to turn in a state application after getting their physician’s certificate.
Then, the state makes the final decision regarding their medical marijuana patients. Once a patient is approved their state usually sends them a physical identification card in the mail.
But in Maine, you don’t have to wait until a physical card arrives in the mail. You don’t even have to fill out an additional state application. You can begin shopping right away after getting the recommendation from your physician.
If you use Leafwell or Veriheal they will send you a reminder when it is time to renew your certificate. You should begin the renewal process about 30 days prior to your certificate expiration to avoid a lapse in eligibility.
Maine Medical Marijuana Card Benefits
There are many benefits to becoming a medical marijuana patient in Maine.
It is true that patients and recreational users can enjoy the same possession limits. But medical marijuana patients get to enjoy some significant savings in the form of tax breaks.
Recreational users can pay as much as 15.5% in taxes for cannabis products. And this can be even higher for edibles. But medical marijuana patients only pay 5.5% in taxes for their products.
And medical patients get priority when it comes to product availability and selection. Dispensaries in Maine are not allowed to sell both medical and recreational products.
Generally speaking, medical marijuana dispensaries have a wider range of products available for sale. So patients can choose between more potent options and different forms of delivery.
And, there are more medical marijuana dispensaries compared to recreational sales dispensaries. That means patients can shop at a larger number of locations as well.
How many plants can I grow in Maine with a medical card?
Patients can cultivate their own plants in Maine. They can grow up to 3 mature cannabis plants at home. And they can have up to 12 immature cannabis plants. Patients are allowed to have an unlimited amount of seedlings.
Does Maine Accept Out-Of-State Medical Cards?
Yes, Maine does accept out-of-state medical cards.
Medical cannabis patients can legally use cannabis while visiting Maine. As long as they have a valid medical marijuana card.
And they can purchase cannabis, too. They only need to show their state registry identification card. There is a list of states that have authorized their residents to use their medical cards in Maine.
Make sure you check to see that your state is on the list to make sure your medical card will be valid while visiting.
Wrapping Up: Medical Card ME
Now that you know some of the best reasons to get your Maine medical marijuana card, don’t waste any time.
In addition to saving you money and giving you a wider product range, you can access treatment that can improve your quality of life.
Speak with a physician and get a recommendation. Make it easy on yourself and schedule an appointment online to see if you qualify. Don’t forget, you get approved or it costs nothing.