Important Bills Passed by the Legislature

This summer we saw some of the most intense legislative action on the subject of cannabis in Maine.  Three important bills were passed by the legislature over Governor Lepage’s veto.

LD 238 establishes a non-vertically integrated medical marijuana manufacturing and extraction license within the Maine Medical Marijuana Program.  This bill is currently in effect, but DHHS and DAFS have yet to write an application or establish operational rules for these new licenses.

LD 1719 establishes the Adult Use Marijuana Program in Maine.  However, there is not a clear timeline for the rollout of this new program or the issuance of licenses.

LD 1539 makes several significant changes to the existing Maine Medical Marijuana Program which are in bullet points below.  This bill will go into effect in Mid-December 2018.

-Transfers regulatory authority over Maine Medical Marijuana Program from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

-Removes the finite list of medical conditions for which a doctor can recommend cannabis to a patient and replaces it with the doctor’s judgment.  “In the medical provider’s professional opinion a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate the patient’s medical diagnosis or symptoms associated with the medical diagnosis.”

-Does away with patient designation system and allows patients to purchase medical cannabis from any legally licensed medical marijuana provider.

-Does away with 15 day purchasing period with the limit of 2.5oz of flower.  Now an instate patient is only limited to 2.5oz per transaction.

-Out of state patients remain regulated under the old standards; are required to designate a single provider of medical cannabis; are still limited to 2.5oz per 15 days.

-All marijuana products need to be retailed in an opaque package.

-All marijuana products sold must be placed in a tamper-evident package or bag before exiting the dispensary.

-Licensed Caregivers and dispensaries can wholesale up to 30% of their yearly harvested plants (or the concentrate derived from them) to other licensed caregivers or dispensaries.

We will be posting links to PDFs of all three bills for any patients or caregivers who would like to go through the text.  Please email with any questions or comments.

Sage Peterson
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