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

At a time when lawmakers in several states are seeking to limit or suspend their medical marijuana programs, Maine lawmakers are expanding patients’ protections and access under the law.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Paul LePage signed legislation, LD 1296, into law on that enhances privacy protections for qualified medical cannabis patients.

The measure eliminates a 2010 legislative mandate requiring medical marijuana patients to be registered with the state in order to receive legal protection under state law. It also eliminates language requiring physician’s to disclose a patient’s specific medical condition with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, 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 approximately 90 days.

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

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