Recreational cannabis has been legal for adult use in Maine since 2016. However, it took until recently for the “Pine Tree State” to open its first cannabis stores.
One of the biggest issues Maine faced was it narrowly received the popular vote for legalization four years ago. The state needed new administrations and the right cannabis legislation before it could open the door to legal sales. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic has only thwarted these plans.
Finally, on October 9, Maine got the okay to open up recreational cannabis shops for business. However, this didn’t come without a new set of problems.
The six dispensaries that opened up found they had a shortage of cannabis in stock, as all products must be legally tagged, tested, and taxed under Maine law. While supply is available, it hasn’t all gone through this process yet. In order to ensure there was enough for everyone, these shops put a 2.5 ounce limit on flowers.
Unfortunately, the lack of supply drove up prices. Mimosa, a popular hybrid for its mood-lifting effects, cost Mainers $65 an eighth. At a medicinal marijuana shop in Maine, you can get up to a quarter for that price.
Luckily, many retailers expected the cost to fall as time passes. There are over 100 growers within Maine, all waiting for a state review to sell their cannabis.
Not to mention, the people of Maine may take other protocols to help curb customer costs. For example, there is only one adult-use lab within the whole state. If more independent labs were to open, it would make the testing requirement a lot easier.
First day sales garnered $94,643.38 across the six shops. $9,464.34 of which was in sales taxes alone. While this may not seem like much compared to the sales tax revenue of California or Illinois, it’s bound to make a difference for communities across the state.