MAINE: The State Of Gifting

MAINE: The State Of Gifting

On November 02, 1999 the Maine State legislature passed a bill removing all state-level criminal penalties for the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana for patients who have received a recommendation from a physician stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana.  Patients may now possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana.

Approved conditions include: cancer, PTSD HIV / AIDS, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, chronic intractable pain, glaucoma, severe and persistent muscle spasms including multiple sclerosis, and seizures including epilepsy.

To become an approved medical marijuana patient in Maine the applicant must have a valid Maine I.D. as proof of residency or and out-of-state I.D, or a passport and a copy of a utility bill proving residency in Maine.

The patient must provide documentation from a primary care physician licensed in Maine indicating a diagnosis for one of the approved ailments.

In 2016 the Maine voters approved the use of recreational marijuana and it is now legal for any Maine resident posses and use marijuana for recreational purposes.  However there’s a catch, and it’s a big one.  It is still illegal to purchase marijuana for recreational use.  This seeming conundrum has resulted from Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage’s opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana.  So far the Governor has not appointed an agency to establish the rules for the distribution, licensing and taxation of marijuana.  So even though you can legally possess and use marijuana in Maine for recreational purposes you can’t legally purchase any.

Ever resourceful, Mainers have found a potential work around this enigma.  The Pine Tree State’s residents have developed a so-called “gift economy” wherein dispensers trade marijuana for other like-value goods or services.  The State legislature has deemed this practice illegal in large part because the practice of “gifting” marijuana side steps the lucrative potential taxes that would be levied if the transaction was based on a monetary payment.

Thus far State police have been lax in enforcing penalties for the practice and some state policemen are unaware that gifting is happening in the state.

Governor LePage has delayed legal retail sales until 2019 or later.  It remains to be seen how this will be sorted out.

A marketing and publishing professional and the Director of Publicity at GB Sciences, Liz Bianco monitors media activity and the “State of the States” on cannabis in America.



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