Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (“OMP”) recently issued guidance and answers to frequently asked questions about the process to renew an individual identification card (“IIC”) and make sure these credentials do not expire. Every employee and principal of an adult use marijuana establishment must maintain an active individual identification card at all times. The cards must be renewed every year, and the renewal process includes annual fingerprinting for an updated criminal background check through IdentoGo. Accordingly, this process takes time. When the IIC holder’s credential is due to expire, that individual will receive an automated e-mail reminder from OMP that it is time to renew. The notice goes directly to the individual’s e-mail address, so it is important to remind employees to look out for that e-mail and to timely renew their cards.
Here is the guidance that OMP sent out to licensees and interested parties in December 2020:
As we have recently stressed (here and here), some individual identification cards (IIC) are reaching the point that they have either expired or will soon expire. While, OMP’s licensing system sends an e-mail reminder of this occurrence 60 days prior to the expiration of an IIC, the burden for timely renewal rests exclusively with the individual cardholder and a complete application is due 30 days prior to expiration.
The renewal application is comprised of four steps: 1.) completion of online application, 2.) receipt of a newly signed Release of Information form, 3.) receipt of the application fee, and 4.) receipt of your yearly criminal history records check, which requires re-fingerprinting. An IIC application is not considered complete until all four steps are done.
In response to recent questions, please note:
- Application fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If an application expires or is denied, a new application must be submitted with the appropriate fee.
- OMP is only reviewing criminal history record check results that are received within the last 90 days. If an IIC application is in pending status for over 90 days, it is automatically voided out and the individual will need to reapply.
- When reapplying, please be sure to answer in the affirmative when responding to the question, “Have you ever applied before?”
- Finally, because there are attestations involved at the end of the application, the individual applicant needs to complete the form, not administrative support staff.
We hope that this information is helpful as you prepare to begin or renew an IIC application.
If your individual identification card already expired before you had a chance to take the necessary steps to renew, you need to go through the process of applying for a new card. The application will ask you if you have ever applied before, and will allow you to input your expired IIC number so that the same number will appear on the new card.
Additional Reminders About Medical Marijuana Program Credentials and Co-Located Adult Use/Medical Marijuana Facilities
It is also important to remember that any employee that will be helping with both medical and adult use operations will need to maintain a current caregiver assistant card in addition to a valid IIC, and caregivers must renew their caregiver registration annually (similar renewal requirements apply to registered dispensaries). An individual identification card does not authorize the employee to engage in any medical marijuana related activities, nor does a caregiver assistant card authorize an employee to work in an adult use marijuana establishment. There are still separate laws and regulations that apply to the medical marijuana program as opposed to the adult use marijuana program: once a medical marijuana plant is transferred to an adult use marijuana cultivation facility, all adult use laws and regulations apply. Up until that point, any activities associated with medical marijuana must comply with the medical marijuana laws and regulations, including the use of OMP-mandated trip tickets, etc. for physical transfers.
For the purposes of plant transfer from medical to adult use, it is also critical for a principal of the adult use marijuana cultivation facility to maintain a current caregiver/dispensary registration. In order to engage in plant transfer, the adult use marijuana cultivation facility must put forth an individual who is principal of the business and has both an active, unexpired IIC and an unexpired caregiver registration card (or registered dispensary officer/director credential) when the business applies for an active license. If the caregiver’s registration is about to expire, it is very important to apply for renewal as soon as possible and maintain that active registration in order to purchase plants from other caregivers/dispensaries.
Please reach out to a member of our Licensing and Regulatory Compliance practice group with any questions.