Massachusetts medical marijuana patients can legally buy medicine at dispensaries in Maine as part of a tourist-friendly initiative put in place this week.
In June, Maine passed a law allowing patients from other locations with medical marijuana programs to use their authorized medical marijuana cards at Maine dispensaries, so long as the jurisdiction opts in.
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia signed on to the Maine initiative earlier this summer — including Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont — and on Tuesday, Massachusetts was added to the most recent list published by Maine officials.
“We were pleased to work with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission to add the Commonwealth to our list of authorized states,” David Heidrich Jr., the director of engagement and community outreach in Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy, wrote in an e-mail. “Such a step is important, given our regional proximity, to the medical marijuana patients from Massachusetts that visit our remarkable state for both work and vacation.”
Before the program was enacted, medical marijuana patients who visited Maine and wanted to buy products there had to visit a Maine-based medical provider and get a certification that would let them participate in the state’s program.
Massachusetts had to provide Maine with a number of details before they could join the program, according to a spokesman from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
Among other things, the commission had to give Maine officials permission to accept Massachusetts medical registration cards. Commission leaders also shared details about how to properly identify official Massachusetts medical marijuana cards and what kinds of products are prohibited in the state.
The commission spokesman said Massachusetts cannabis regulators have discussed interest in reciprocating the program and allowing patients from other states to visit Bay State dispensaries, but no actions have been taken yet.