Maine: Governor Signs Law Expanding Privacy, Other Legal Protections For Medical Cannabis Patients

Augusta, ME: Republican Gov. Paul LePage signed legislation, LD 1296, into law on Friday implementing new privacy protections for qualified medical cannabis patients.

The measure eliminates a recently enacted legislative mandate requiring medical marijuana patients to be registered with the state in order to receive legal protection under state law. It also eliminates statutory language requiring physicians to disclose a patient’s specific medical condition with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Additionally, LD 1296 limits the ability of law enforcement to seize cannabis from lawful patients, and mandates for the return of any seized property within seven days.

Only two additional states — California and Washington — do not require patients to be registered with the state to receive limited legal protections.

The new law takes effect in October.

In March, Safe Alternatives, the first state-regulated medical marijuana dispensary on the East Coast, began operations in Frenchville, Maine. Since then, two additional dispensaries have opened their doors. The state expects to have eight licensed dispensaries up and running before the end of the year.

Full text of the measure is available online via Maine’s legislative website here: