Tourists can access cannabis with ease when visiting Maine, thanks to updated bill amendment

Patients visiting Maine will not be allowed to purchase more than 2.5 ounces of medicinal cannabis whilst visiting the state, due to the newly adopted rule

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Maine’s medical cannabis market just got a whole lot more streamlined for visitors than it previously was. Authorized patients residing in other U.S. states can now obtain their medicine using just a permit and valid form of photographic identification.

This amendment made to Maine’s medical cannabis bill LD 538 – “An Act To Ensure Access to Medical Cannabis for Visiting Qualifying Patients” – was signed into law by Governor Janet Mills on June 6. It was enacted immediately after being passed as an emergency measure. Prior to its enactment, Maine’s visitors were required to fill out a form from the provider of their medicine before arriving in the state.

Sponsor of the bill Rep. Lydia Blume, D-York, described the previous process as “time-consuming and cumbersome.”

Medical cannabis in Maine was legalized 20 years ago

The state also boasts a thriving medical cannabis industry that kicked off way back in 1999. A responsible and legal medical cannabis market is facilitated by the Maine Medical Use Marijuana Program (MMMP). Now, with recreational cannabis legalization, the stigma surrounding cannabis is dissolving. As more individuals consider trying the therapeutic plant, in whatever form, the medical consumer demographic growing.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), 41,858 individuals are enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program, where 1,335,907 people reside.

Maine, a Democratic-steered state, legalized cannabis for recreational use on November 8, 2016, with the approval of Question 1. Adult-use legalization and the newly simplified medical cannabis rule for out-of-state visitors are contributing to an influx of tourists descending on Maine, where a 4/20 tourism scene is gradually blossoming.

Patients visiting Maine will not be allowed to purchase more than 2.5 ounces of medicinal cannabis whilst visiting the state, due to the newly adopted rule.

Medical cannabis prescriptions in Maine have been available since January 2015

Pot prohibition in Maine dates back to the early 1900s but some years later in 1976, cannabis was decriminalized. Then, in 1999, a ballot measure for medical cannabis legalization was approved.

Patients are allowed to cultivate their own plants for personal use under the law, so long as the plants are grown inside a secure grow site or on their personal property. Alternatively, they can obtain medical cannabis from licensed and certified growers who sell their products inside state-run dispensaries.

Since January of 2015, medical cannabis patients in Maine have been able to apply for weed-based treatments via the online portal developed by the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services (DLRS). The DLRS is part of the DHHS.

Using the online custom patient portal is now compulsory for all individuals applying for acceptance into the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program.