Maine will launch its recreational use cannabis programs in early to mid October of this year. COVID-19 pushed the initial start date back from spring of this year. Because of the later start date, officials are expecting the roll out to be less impactful than it would have been in the spring, but are anticipating sales and revenue to climb and eventually match states that have legalized cannabis before.
Maine Dispensaries will Begin Selling Cannabis for Recreational Use in Early to Mid October 2020
Maine has issued its first of six cannabis licenses in preparation for the sale of cannabis state-wide, set to begin as early as October 9. According to Bangor Daily News, Maine voters passed the legalization of cannabis by a narrow margin back in November 2016.(1) Another Bangor Daily News article notes that while the state was originally set to roll out their recreational-use programs in Spring 2020, COVID-19 caused that date to be pushed back into the winter months.(2) In order to facilitate the sales of cannabis in the individual cities, businesses will need an active license approval from the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy and a conditional approval from the town or city where they will operate. Recreational-use businesses also have to be in a separate facility from the facilities used to distribute the medicinal varieties of cannabis, and the purchaser has to be over the age of 21 to complete the transaction.(3,4)
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Due to the pandemic and the expected difficulty of meeting the product availability and accessibility needs, officials are anticipating a slightly less boisterous opening day than what would have happened in the spring, but they forecast a steady increase over time and expect sales to eventually balloon to the hundreds of million dollars in revenue that other states like California and neighboring Massachusetts have observed.
- Fishell, D. (2016, November 10). Maine voters narrowly endorse legal marijuana, but opponents weigh recount. Bangor Daily News. https://bangordailynews.com/2016/11/09/news/maine-voters-narrowly-endorse-legal-marijuana/
- Valigra, L. (2020, September 9). Maine awards 1st active recreational marijuana licenses ahead of October retail sales. Bangor Daily News.
- Maine State Legislature, Maine Government. (2020, September 12). Recreational Marijuana in Maine | Maine State Legislature. Maine State Legislature. http://www.legislature.maine.gov/lawlibrary/recreational_marijuana_in_maine/9419
- Maine State Legislature, Maine Government. (2020a, February 20). Medical Marijuana In Maine. Maine State Legislature. http://www.legislature.maine.gov/lawlibrary/maines-medical-marijuana-law/9242