Medical Marijuana Maine: Registered Primary Caregiver

medical marijuana maineWe list below the main points to remember if you aim to register as a Primary Caregiver
in Maine’s medical marijuana program:

  1. A patient may designate one primary caregiver to assist the qualifying patient with the patient’s medical use of marijuana. ANYONE may be a primary caregiver – a patient’s caregiver is determined by the patient’s preference.
  2. Primary caregivers are required to possess a valid DHHS issued registry identification card prior to assisting a registered patient with the medical use of marijuana. A registry identification card is good for one year and must be renewed annually.
  3. A primary caregiver must obtain a food establishment license prior to preparing goods containing marijuana for medical use by a registered patient. Strict food packaging and label requirements must be adhered to.
  4. Cultivation and Possession Regulations are IDENTICAL to those for a patient. By designating a caregiver a qualifying patient essentially transfers their right to cultivate to that caregiver. A patient may not cultivate if they designate a caregiver. Note the following:
    1. A primary caregiver may possess up to 2.5 ounces of prepared marijuana and an incidental amount of marijuana for each registered patient who has named the person as their caregiver. This is in addition to the 2.5 ounces of prepared marijuana a qualifying patient may lawfully possess
    2. A primary caregiver may cultivate up to six (6) marijuana plants for each registered patient.
  5. A caregiver may assist up to five (5) qualified, registered patients at any one time. Each individual patient must designate the individual through DHHS,
  6. If a caregiver provides assistance for three (3) or more patients, DHHS may conduct onsite cultivation/possession assessments. DHHS must provide twenty-four (24) hours notice of the inspection to the caregiver.
  7. Primary Caregiver Compensation. A caregiver may receive reasonable compensation for the following:
    1. Costs associated with assisting a registered patient
    2. Costs associated with cultivating marijuana for a registered patient
  8. Brief Discussion: What Does Reasonable Compensation Mean? Understand that the Maine Medical Marijuana program is truly in its infancy and that very few of these regulations have been examined or challenged. Very few opinion letters have been issued and those that have deal almost exclusively with dispensaries and their operation. Any individual interested in becoming a primary caregiver is strongly urged to seek legal counsel when determining what cultivation and/or business model to implement. Speaking generally, a caregiver should consider the following when determining what constitutes reasonable compensation:
    1. Consider the costs and benefits of operating as a not-for-profit enterprise
    2. What price is customary in my area? What do other caregivers and dispensaries charge?
    3. Do you charge the same price to all customers? Do you charge differently for different varietals?
    4. Should I consider a flat fee for my services as opposed to a fee based on medicine quantity?
    5. Maintain detailed records of all expenses and implement the use of tracking sheets and identification when cultivating and distributing medicine
    6. It is prudent to implement compensation standards similar to those described in IRS Publication 557 Tax-Exempt Organizations.

We would like to thank the Law Office of Gregory Braun for the information contained in this series of articles.


Author Dianne Morgan

More posts by Dianne Morgan

Join the discussion 2 Comments

    • Barron says:

      Hi im really interested in becoming a caregiver its just that moneys tight amd I dont wamt to spend all the cost associated with it and not have amy patients to help.

      I dont know anyone any ideas or help on how I can break in to this. I honestly have a knack for growing and I just plain like helping people so this would be grezt. Plus pots a wonder drug and I love spreading its uses to others. Thank you Barron Tibbetts

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