Maine’s new dispensary law augments the medical marijuana law already in place for more than a decade, finally giving patients a legal way to obtain cannabis. But patients and caregivers who want legal access to medical marijuana will have to register for an ID card.
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it is accepting applications from nonprofit corporations to become dispensaries under Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act, responding to a dispensary law passed by voters.
In July, eight dispensaries will be selected by DHHS, reports Adrienne Bennett of WABI-TV
Organizers of the new program say some people don’t like it, but according to many, the new program actually gives more protection to patients and caregivers than they have had in the past.
“Under the informal law, if you’re picked up with marijuana you can be arrested and charged and go to court and use the note you have from your physician as to what’s referred to as affirmative defense so you can use that to be found innocent,” said Catherine Cobb, DHHS director of licensing and regulatory services.
“In these cases you’re going to have your card, you’re not going to get arrested and end up going through that process,” Cobb said. “We feel it’s more humane for the patient not to be treated like a criminal.”
According to Cobb, law enforcement will not be able to find out patients’ names through checking the card, only how much marijuana they may legally possess.