|Starting January 1, medical marijuana patients in Maine are required by law to register with the state.|
More than 400 residents of Maine have applied to be medical marijuana patients under a new state law. Starting January 1, Mainers must be registered with the state before legally using cannabis medicinally.
For the past decade in Maine, ever since voters approved medical marijuana in 1999, patients had needed only a doctor’s authorization to use cannabis medicinally.
Applications flooded into the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in the final days and weeks of 2010, with hundreds more expected in the next several weeks, reports John Richardson at The Portland Press Herald. State officials said that expect to register 1,200 or more patients by the time the initial rush is over this spring.
“Everybody’s coming in at the last minute,” said Catherine Cobb, director of licensing and regulatory services for the health department. “We’ve been hammered.”