It’s been a long wait as recreational dispensaries in Maine are set to open in June 2020. This is not all doom and gloom as financial forecasters are projecting a robust market once the doors officially open; $5 million in sales within the first month is no mean fit.
So far, 87 applications for marijuana dispensary licenses have made it to the shortlist. It’s a wait-to-see situation that will unveil come on 1st June this year; we are expecting a decent number of recreational dispensaries to meet the high demand.
Maine Marijuana Dispensaries
Maine is a beautiful tourist city that is known for its rocky coastline and breathtaking beaches. Maine legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, becoming the 10th state in the US to take this bold step. 3 years later and citizens are still not able to buy recreational weed legally in the state.
Maine has a number of medical marijuana dispensaries to cater for medical marijuana patients in the state. Adults above 21 are allowed to use, possess, and share recreational weed. However, this is technically impossible as there are no recreational weed dispensaries in the state.
Requirements For Opening A Weed Dispensary In Maine
The process of obtaining a license to open a weed dispensary in Maine is taxing. This involves:
- Getting health and safety checks
- Getting the products tested and approved
- Getting the product entered into a tracking system
- Obtaining a conditional state-issued license
- Getting authorization from the municipality
- Getting an active license from the municipality
This process is still being streamlined by the government and is expected to be completed by June 2020.
Marijuana Legalization in Maine
Portland was the first municipality in Maine to vote on recreational cannabis in 2013. Thereafter the other municipalities followed suit legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. These pockets of cannabis progressivism paved way for November 2016 when the curtains of recreational marijuana finally fell in Maine. The margin was thin but the victory sweet.
Question 2 refers to Maine’s Medical Marijuana Bill.
Question 1 refers to Maine’s Recreational Bill.
The full legalization of marijuana in Maine took effect in January 2017. Ever since, Question 1 has been challenged twice (vetoed) by Governor Paul Le Page causing delays in the rollout of the recreational program. The state legislature managed to uphold the recreational-use law both times.
Adults above the age of 21 are allowed to use, possess, purchase, share, and cultivate marijuana in the state. However, there are some limits on how much marijuana one can possess or cultivate.
1st Recreational Marijuana Dispensary in Maine
The first recreational weed dispensary in Maine should be open by June. So far several applications are in the pipeline waiting for the final approval by the state and municipalities. Apart from the licensing, the products on offer must also be tested by independent labs licensed by the government to carry out that role.
The government is keen on licensing enough dispensaries to meet the demand for recreational weed come June. The shortage experienced in other states on the first day and weekend is a learning point. The government is also planning on collecting a 10% tax on all recreational sales. They hope to collect as much as $500,000 by the end of the first month meaning that projected sales are expected to hit $ 5 million.
Is this figure realistic?
Actually it is. Illinois (which of course is a much bigger state) raked in $3.2 million on the first day of recreational sales. Similar enthusiasm is anticipated in Maine. Also considering the vibrancy of the medical marijuana market, recreational weed should not be a disappointment.
Marijuana and Driving in Maine
As with other states, it is illegal to drive when under the influence of marijuana. This does not just apply to motor vehicles but aircraft, ships and any other type of automobile as well. If found guilty of violating this law one is likely to face criminal charges and risk facing the wrath of the law. This may include license suspension or paying a hefty fine.
The Future of Recreational Marijuana in Maine
It has taken three years to get Maine to where it is today with marijuana progressivism. Even with the delays, enthusiasm from cannabis supporters has not waned and financial analysts predict a robust market once it opens to the public.
As it stands, the projected sales estimates for 2021 are $84 million while that of the subsequent year is $118 million. The figure may balloon even further if medicinal marijuana patients shift to the recreational market. This will not come as a surprise as it has been witnessed in other states where recreational weed was legalized. The government also stands to benefit should this happen as this translates to greater tax revenue.
There is much to look forward to once recreational dispensaries are operational in Maine. The recreational marijuana industry is dynamic and will definitely create diverse employment opportunities in the state. It is not clear what impact this will have on the marijuana black market. With modest estimations, this may serve to gradually wipe out the illegal black market. But this will definitely take time and effort.
It’s been a long journey trying to create a near-perfect environment for recreational dispensaries in Maine. Fortunately, the future looks promising.