After four long years of waiting and delays, Maine has finally begun selling recreational marijuana to adults over the age of 21.
After narrowly passing Maine's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adults with 50.26 percent of the vote on November 8th in 2016, Maine has finally commenced recreational marijuana sales across six dispensaries.
While consuming cannabis in public remains illegal in Maine, Adults aged 21 years of age or older will now be able to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and no more than five grams of marijuana concentrate.
Eight shops are now licensed to sell recreational cannabis, but due to supply and regulatory issues, only six of those dispensaries actually opened on Friday in Maine. One dispensary that opened is Theory Wellness, whose Market Director, Thomas Winstanley said:
"As soon as those doors are opening, there's nothing more rewarding than seeing people who are really stoked to come in and buy legal cannabis."
"For us, it's incredibly exciting because we do love this state, and it's exciting to see the proliferation on a broader scale of cannabis legalization," Winstanley concluded.
Maine is one of 11 states to have legalized recreational marijuana use among adults, alongside Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Most recently, Vermont's Governor Phil Scott stated he would allow regulated cannabis sales within the state without a veto.
During COVID-19, many states have experienced both a boost in cannabis consumption and sales revenue, suggesting that the industry is broadly recession-proof, with several marijuana legalization initiatives slated to occur in November this year.
Sales totals from Maine's cannabis sales are expected to be released shortly, however, states that have recently legalized marijuana such as Illinois have experienced month-on-month growth, with September achieving $67 million in cannabis sales in Illinois.
Given that Maine has roughly a tenth of the population of Illinois, a good first month for the State could be roughly $6 million.
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