This week, regulators in Maine started giving out business permits to the recreational cannabis industry. The long-awaited move saw the industry surge to another step with a number of businesses getting the state licences.
By Wednesday, licenses for two retailers, one testing lab, and two grow facilities had already been upgraded to ‘active’ by Maine ‘s Marijuana Policy office. The Portland Press Herald newspaper disclosed that the two stores are set to begin selling recreational marijuana products on 9th October. The newspaper further reported that the regulators would continue issuing more licenses even after launching adult-use sales.
Recreational cannabis sales were approved by Maine’s voters back in 2016, which is about four years ago. Nevertheless, market launching was delayed till to date because of several factors, including a cannabis opposing governor, an extended period of regulatory writing, and the coronavirus pandemic.
Maine had first issued conditional licenses in March, and the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) had organized for a spring launch. Unfortunately, the schedule for the spring launch was further delayed due to the coronavirus.
The OMP continues to accept recreational cannabis license applications, and they will give out more licenses using a rolling basis. Therefore, there will be more official establishments in the next month.
Erik Gundersen, an OMP director, said that Maine is set to be unique as it will be the first and only state to launch a recreational marijuana use program amidst a pandemic. He further assured the employers and consumers of the new industry that their wellbeing remains the highest priority of the OMP.
Gundersen further stated that though the initial recreational cannabis market will have limited accessibility and availability of products, the industry will grow responsibly and create safe and convenient recreational marijuana access in the weeks and months to come.