It’s been a long time coming
Marijuana legalization has been a topic of contention by government officials for decades. As it sits right now, cannabis is still completely illegal on the federal level. However, legalization federally is going to vote very soon. Maine joined the ranks of states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Currently, in Maine, medical marijuana cardholders 18 and older can obtain and enjoy the health aspects of cannabis. Maine had previously aimed to offer the recreational sale of cannabis products in early 2020; unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the process of achieving this goal in time.
As of September 8th, 2020, Maine will be offering adult-use business licenses for cannabis sale and purchase. On October 9th, Maine will officially be open for recreational marijuana sales to the public for people 21 years of age and older. Legalizing recreational sales opens up incredible opportunities for Maine’s economy and begins a new fight for the decriminalization of cannabis as a whole.
It’s been four years since legislation passed the legal use and sale of medical marijuana. 2016 certainly was an impactful year for cannabis enthusiasts and patients alike.
On September 8th, the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy will announce the first round of licensed labs, growing facilities, plants’ manufacturing, and retail locations. According to the new laws set forth, businesses will be given just one month to produce accurately tested and fully harvested cannabis products offered for sale on opening day. Currently, Maine has issued 194 state testing, cultivation, and manufacturing retail business licenses. Yet only 33 of those licensed businesses have acquired local authorization and can move forward in the last licensing stage. These regulations are set in place to make sure companies are fully operating under the state marijuana laws and guidelines before retail sales can begin.
Marijuana legalization in Maine opens up opportunities for cannabis enthusiasts all over the state. With more businesses slated to open up due to the legal recreational sale after October, jobs, and services aligned with the industry will undoubtedly bring significant positions for employment. Some caregivers have suggested that Maine medical marijuana patients should stay up to date with their cannabis cards. Adult use and the recreational purchase of cannabis under the new laws and regulations are only available for 21 years of age or older. That excludes a broad demographic of marijuana patients ranging in age from 18 – 20. Patients should hang onto their medical cannabis cards as well to continue to enjoy consistent medical cannabis treatment.
Purchasing recreational cannabis stipulations
For all businesses licensed to sell recreational cannabis, customers will need to show a State ID proving they are 21 years of age or older to enter and buy the products inside. Each individual will only be allowed to purchase 2 1/2 ounces of cannabis flower per day, only 5 ounces of concentrates, and will not exceed 100 mg of THC in the form of edibles.
Opening a marijuana business during the pandemic could be a tricky process. However, Maine’s tax revenue from legal recreational cannabis sales could reach upwards of $170 million for the first year. October 9th is an exciting time for the cannabis industry and marijuana enthusiasts all over the state of Maine. Other states across the country have adopted these legalization regulations with great success. Maine is undoubtedly at the forefront of the fight for cannabis decriminalization and legalization countrywide. We are stepping into a new era of cannabis marketing as well as sales and use. Although there are still many things unknown, the future of cannabis looks very bright.