June 1st, 2019
People travelling to Maine may think that it is legal for them to obtain recreational weed via a delivery service, as this is in practice the only path to obtain recreational weed in Maine as it exists today—THE BAD NEWS IS, IT IS NOT LEGAL. We have what, in my opinion, amounts to a highly visible, black market for cannabis; as there are currently no open, licensed recreational dispensaries and recreational deliveries are clearly considered “unprotected” activity. Further, it may have even been the case that the last time the traveler was here in Maine, they were able to obtain weed in this same manner. It also seems that some of the folks listed as a “medical” only delivery service on Weedmaps in Maine are accepting recreational referrals, which further complicates the matter.
However, since December of 2018, it became very clear that it is not legal activity to delivery recreational cannabis in Maine. In fact, there is no legal means by which a person can obtain cannabis in Maine without a medical recommendation. Not only is it illegal to obtain recreational cannabis through a delivery service in Maine, it is taking a toll on the Medical Cannabis community that is trying to thrive under an existing set of rules.
THE GOOD NEWS is that there is a legal way to obtain medical marijuana for visitors in Maine. The rules can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-systems/mmm/documents/MMMP-Rules-144c122.pdf
Specifically, section 4 of the MMMP regulations refers to “qualifying patients,” but more specifically, there’s information on visiting qualifying patients. The short answer relative to obtaining Marijuana in Maine is to either 1) obtain a medical recommendation in your home state and bring that with you, or 2) try to work with a practitioner in Maine to get a temporary recommendation. Here’s what the rules say relative to “qualifying patients.”
4.2 Non-registered qualifying patients; lawful use of marijuana.
A non-registered qualifying patient is not prohibited from the lawful medical use of marijuana if the patient possesses a physician-issued written certification and meets other requirements in compliance with these rules.
PHYSICIAN’S WRITTEN CERTIFICATION
4.3 Written certification required. Prior to obtaining or using marijuana for medical use, a qualifying patient, including non-registered and voluntarily registered patients, must obtain a written certification from his or her physician in accordance with these rules.
You might be asking yourself, what do these things mean? My impression of what it means is as follows, you don’t have to be a “registered” patient in Maine, meaning on our MMMP registry, and still meet the legal criteria for obtaining medical cannabis. Further, it appears that if your doctor in your home State will give you a recommendation for medical cannabis, we can honor it here in Maine. It is also my understanding that some of the practitioners in Maine as well as some of the web-based services (www.cheapmedcards.com for Maine and NY patients, or www.quickmedcards.com from other states) will do an evaluation and temporary certification.
Maine has also removed the need for a qualifying condition to obtain a medical recommendation making it even easier to obtain one. So, if a medical professional recommends you as appropriate for the medical program, you can get temporary approval. The fee for obtaining a certification can vary here in Maine. Generally, if you are going to a brick and mortar location to see a medical professional, you’re going to pay about $125-150 for a consultation fee, but it is considerably less expensive ($59-$90) to obtain one through a web-based service.
So, if you have a med card, BRING IT WITH YOU TO MAINE!! If you live in a state that has a medical program, obtaining a med card in your state first would be easiest. If you come to Maine and want to purchase cannabis, please consider obtaining a temporary medical recommendation as a “visiting qualifying/non-registered” patient prior to purchasing cannabis. Otherwise, you’ll be supporting a black market and hurting the individual caregiver and licensed dispensaries in Maine.
Little did I know at the time of writing this blog post in June, our lawmakers were working to solve the problem I identified in the post. It is no longer the case that out of state patients need the additional designation form signed and approved by your prescribing physician prior to coming to Maine. If you're from a state with whom we share reciprocity, you are simply able to present your state ID and Med Card to visit a dispensary, or legally order a delivery. Check out our About Us section on the website to see if you're from a state from which we can accept med cards!