Watch Out For Invalid Medical Marijuana Certifications

March 31st, 2020, Medical, Regulatory, Retail, State

Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (“OMP”) issued a reminder to medical marijuana program participants that registered caregivers and dispensaries may only sell medical marijuana to qualifying patients that produce valid medical marijuana certifications.

OMP stated the following in a press release:

Under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act, medical providers registered with MMMP are able to provide certifications to patients that are “likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marijuana…”.

To be considered a qualifying patient in Maine’s medical program and to conduct lawful sales as a MMMP registrant, the purchaser must possess a valid patient certification. A patient certification is only valid if it is issued on “tamper-resistant paper signed by a medical provider…”. OMP provides registered medical providers with the state’s tamper-resistant patient certification paper at no cost.

Temporary and/or digital medical marijuana cards are not an acceptable form of identification for the purposes of obtaining marijuana for medical use in Maine.

In a subsequent press release, OMP explained that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers and dispensaries may accept Maine driver’s licenses or identification cards that expired on or after March 15, 2020 for the time being. This is because Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced that credentials issued by the State of Maine’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles—among them driver’s licenses and identification cards—that expire within the current civil emergency period will be extended temporarily.  The expired Maine driver’s license or identification card must accompany a valid, unexpired patient certification.

Visiting Patient Documentation

Registered caregivers and dispensaries may also sell medical marijuana to visiting patients under a limited set of circumstances. The visiting patient must be a resident of one of the listed states on the Office of Marijuana Policy’s website.  The visiting patient must provide a valid medical marijuana certification from that state as well as a form of identification (such as a driver’s license) from that same state.  A qualifying visiting patient may only purchase up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of medical marijuana and marijuana products every 15 days while visiting the state.  A visiting patient who possesses more than the allotted amount during any 15 day period is in violation of Maine law.  

If you have questions about whether or not a form of medical marijuana certification should be accepted, please contact a member of Drummond Woodsum’s regulatory division.