Chart View: Maine Protections for Authorized Cannabis Activity

14 Nov, 2023 Frank Ferreri

                               

Augusta, ME (WorkersCompensation.com) -- The topic of cannabis and workers' compensation has been in the news for a while.

And while the topic is not without controversy, states have craft rules based on their legislatures' decriminalizing cannabis to vary degrees.

One of those states is Maine, and the following chart breaks down how the Pine Tree State protects authorized cannabis activity.

TopicsMaine Rules
Rights of persons or entities acting pursuant to Maine lawA person whose conduct is authorized may not be denied any right or privilege or be subjected to arrest, prosecution, penalty or disciplinary action, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for lawfully engaging in conduct involving the medical use of cannabis authorized under this chapter.
Legal protection for hospitals and long-term care facilitiesThe immunity provisions apply to a hospital licensed under chapter 405 and an officer or director, employee, or agent of the hospital and a long-term care facility and an officer or director, employee, or agent of the long-term care facility.
The legal protection for hospitals and long-term care facilities applies in accordance with the following:
(1) If the use of a form of harvested cannabis that is not smoked, including but not limited to edible cannabis products and tinctures and salves of cannabis, by an admitted patient who has been certified occurs in a hospital, that hospital is not subject to prosecution, search, seizure, or penalty in any manner, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, and may not be denied any license, registration, right, or privilege solely because the admitted patient lawfully engages in conduct involving the medical use of cannabis.
(2) If the use of a form of harvested cannabis consistent with a long-term facility's policy by an admitted patient who has been certified occurs in the long-term care facility, that long-term care facility is not subject to prosecution, search, seizure, or penalty in any manner, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, and may not be denied any license, registration, right, or privilege solely because the admitted patient lawfully engages in conduct involving the medical use of cannabis. 
(3) An officer or director, employee, or agent of a hospital or long-term care facility where the use of a form of harvested cannabis that is not smoked or vaporized, including but not limited to edible cannabis products and tinctures and salves of cannabis, by an admitted patient who has been certified occurs is not subject to arrest, prosecution, search, seizure, or penalty in any manner, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, and may not be denied any license, registration, right, or privilege solely because the admitted patient lawfully engages in conduct involving the medical use of cannabis.
Schools, employers, and landlords may not discriminateA school, employer or landlord may not refuse to enroll or employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person solely for that person's status as a qualifying patient or a caregiver unless failing to do so would put the school, employer, or landlord in violation of federal law or cause it to lose a federal contract or funding.
This rule does not prohibit a restriction on the administration or cultivation of cannabis on premises when that administration or cultivation would be inconsistent with the general use of the premises.
A landlord or business owner may prohibit the smoking of cannabis for medical purposes on the premises of the landlord or business if the landlord or business owner prohibits all smoking on the premises and posts notice to that effect on the premises.
Parental rights and responsibilities and contact with minor childrenA person may not be denied parental rights and responsibilities with respect to or contact with a minor child as a result of acting in accordance with protections regarding medical use of cannabis, unless the person's conduct is contrary to the best interests of the minor child. 
Receiving an anatomical giftIn reviewing a qualifying patient's suitability for receiving an anatomical gift, a transplant evaluator shall treat the qualifying patient's medical use of cannabis as the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medications used at the direction of a medical provider.
A transplant evaluator may determine a qualifying patient to be unsuitable to receive an anatomical gift if the qualifying patient does not limit the qualifying patient's medical use of cannabis to the use of forms of harvested cannabis that are not smoked or vaporized, including but not limited to edible cannabis and tinctures and salves of cannabis.
A transplant evaluator may require medical cannabis used by a qualifying patient to be tested for fungal contamination by a cannabis testing facility.
Prohibition on seizure and retentionExcept when necessary for an ongoing criminal investigation, a law enforcement officer may not seize cannabis that is in the possession of a qualifying patient, caregiver, cannabis testing facility, manufacturing facility, or registered dispensary.
Restrictions on law enforcement accessNotwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a law enforcement officer may not enter any location in which a qualifying patient, caregiver, registered dispensary, manufacturing facility or cannabis testing facility conducts authorized activities, except where:
(1) The patient, caregiver, dispensary, manufacturing facility, or cannabis testing facility voluntarily allows the law enforcement officer to enter the location.
(2) The law enforcement officer's entry is authorized pursuant to a warrant issued by a duly authorized justice, judge, or justice of the peace.
(3) The law enforcement officer's entry is authorized in accordance with a recognized exception to the warrant requirement, including, but not limited to, exigent circumstances.
Requirements for protectionTo receive protection, a person must:
(1) If the person is a qualifying patient or visiting qualifying patient, present upon request of a law enforcement officer the patient's written certification.
(2) If the person is a caregiver, present upon request of a law enforcement officer the caregiver's registry identification card or registration certificate. 
Evidence of lawful conductPossession of a registry identification card by a cardholder, the act of applying for a registry identification card, possession of a written certification, or possession of a designation document is evidence of lawful conduct and may not be used to support the search of that person or that person's property. The possession of or application for a registry identification card or possession of a written certification does not prevent the issuance of a warrant if probable cause exists on other grounds.
ImmunityThe immunity provisions apply to caregivers, cannabis testing facilities, manufacturing facilities and dispensaries and the officers or directors or assistants of caregivers, cannabis testing facilities, manufacturing facilities, and dispensaries.
(1) A caregiver, cannabis testing facility, manufacturing facility, or dispensary is not subject to prosecution, search, seizure, or penalty in any manner, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, and may not be denied any right or privilege solely for acting to assist with the medical use of cannabis.
(2) An officer or director or assistant of a caregiver, cannabis testing facility, manufacturing facility or dispensary is not subject to arrest, prosecution, search, seizure, or penalty in any manner, including but not limited to a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or an occupational or professional licensing board or entity, and may not be denied any right or privilege solely for working for or with a caregiver, cannabis testing facility, manufacturing facility, or dispensary to provide cannabis plants and cannabis products to qualifying patients, caregivers, dispensaries, manufacturing facilities, or cannabis testing facilities or to otherwise assist with the medical use of cannabis.
Defense for possession of excess cannabisA qualifying patient may assert as a defense to any prosecution involving cannabis possession the medical use of cannabis for a medical purpose and may present evidence in court that the patient's medical use or cultivation of an amount of cannabis exceeding the amount allowed by law was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of cannabis for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient's medical diagnosis or symptoms associated with the patient's medical diagnosis that, in a medical provider's professional opinion, may be alleviated by the therapeutic or palliative medical use of cannabis.
Calculation of cannabis weightThe amount of cannabis must be calculated by the weight of dried harvested cannabis. A calculation of the weight of cannabis that is not dried must reduce the weight by at least 75% to account for moisture content. A calculation of the weight of cannabis in a cannabis product may not include ingredients in the product other than cannabis, except that the weight of cannabis concentrate must be included regardless of whether the cannabis concentrate is within a cannabis product or not within a cannabis product.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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