Maine approves adult-use marijuana stores in South Portland, Northport – Press Herald

8September 2020

Maine has announced its preliminary of totally accredited leisure marijuana organizations, including 2 retail stores– in South Portland and Northport– that can start offering adult-use cannabis to the general public next month.

The sellers, Theory Wellness of Maine in South Portland and Sugary Food Relief Store in Northport, are cleared to open on Oct. 9, the opening day for adult-use sales in Maine. In addition, the Office of Marijuana Policy authorized Nelson Analytics in Kennebunk as Maine’s first testing lab and grows for Space 5 in Detroit, Gele in South Portland and Lawn Roots Cannabis in Auburn.

Those are not likely to be the only companies accredited by opening day– the state plans to continue licensing adult-use applications on a rolling basis as much as and after Oct. 9, including those seeking to produce marijuana products, like the instilled cannabis edibles popular amongst modern-day customers. No production licenses were revealed Tuesday, however some are likely to be issued in the next month.

All grows and labs licensed Tuesday will be off limits to anybody but state-licensed staff members, regulators and suppliers. Away from public analysis, these license holders will begin to grow and evaluate the cannabis that will equip the racks of retailers. However the state alerted Tuesday that market launch and product accessibility may be restricted during a pandemic-era market launch.

” Maine will have the distinct distinction of being the only state to release its adult-use marijuana program throughout a pandemic,” Erik Gundersen, the head of the state’s cannabis policy workplace, stated on Tuesday. “The initial market will likely be restricted in both accessibility and product accessibility, however the industry will progress properly and supply safe, hassle-free gain access to.”

Theory Health of Maine, an organization run by 2 Colby College graduates who are currently selling medical and adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts, plans to grow and eventually make cannabis items in a previous factory in Waterville and offer it out of a former Gown Barn area near The Maine Shopping Mall in South Portland, and one day soon, near their alma mater.

< a href ="" data-caption=" Theory Wellness of Maine LLC, which is located in a strip mall in South Portland, is one of 2 recreational cannabis companies in Maine to be awarded a retail license by the state in the first round of awards Tuesday. Retail sales are slated to start Oct. 9. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

” > Theory Health of Maine LLC, in a shopping center in South Portland, is one of two leisure cannabis companies in Maine to be awarded retail licenses by the state in the first round of awards Tuesday. Retail sales are slated to start Oct. 9. Brianna Soukup/Staff Professional Photographer” There is a lot of excitement within the company, as we have actually been dealing with this project for nearly two years

now, “Theory spokesperson Thomas Winstanley said.” Marijuana can be a’ hurry-up-and-wait’ scenario, so we’re truly thrilled to be moving on with certainty. “Both founders, Massachusetts homeowners Brandon Pollock and Nick Friedman, spent a couple years after graduation consulting in the West Coast cannabis industry, however chose to sign up with forces in 2015 and return to the East Coast after Friedman’s dad was not able to access legal marijuana as a form of treatment after breaking his spinal column in a ski accident.

The previous college roomies state they fell for the state while at Colby, where they released their first company together, a water filtration business, and resided in Portland for two years upon graduation. They said they had always hoped they would have the ability to go back to Maine to be a part of its long marijuana tradition.

They will use a minimum of a lots individuals in South Portland at the launch, and intend to employ another 20 individuals in Waterville. Those jobs will start at $15 to $17 an hour, with supervisory positions earning more, and unlike numerous cannabis business, the positions will all include health insurance and paid time off.

The other retail license went to Sweet Relief Shop in Northport, owned and run by John Lorenz. He is among about two lots entrepreneur who have been growing and selling medical marijuana out of stores along Maine’s 500-mile stretch of Route 1. Lorenz stated he will keep his medical service going even as he expands into adult-use sales, running them out of 2 separate structures on his land.

Lorenz is not a native, but has resided in Maine since he was 8 years old. He chose to get into the marijuana industry in 2014, 2 years prior to the legalization referendum, and ended up being a caregiver in 2016. Up until now, the medical business is made up of simply him and his partner, but he hopes he can expand enough to employ employees once his adult-use service is up and running.

” I have actually wanted to be a farmer considering that I was a small child,” Lorenz stated. “Now, with state licensing, the opportunity has actually come true. … I have been informed that this is the only application for a marijuana shop that is a sole proprietorship, and that also did not use a business attorney to do all of the documents. I did all of it myself.”

It hasn’t been simple, Lorenz stated. He left his job as a special education instructor in 2016 to devote himself to business full time. He and his partner do it all, from farming to sales, with everything in between. They have poured their life cost savings into business and have managed on less than $20,000 a year given that he quit his teaching gig.

” We are a mom-and-pop store,” Lorenz stated Tuesday after learning Sweet Relief was among only two retail stops accredited. “With determination and commitment to put this marijuana company initially, I imagine making a living and being gainfully self-employed. This is a real Cinderella story, and effort has been my magic stagecoach.”

Though Maine state law requires cannabis stores to be owned by four-year Maine residents, the Office of Cannabis Policy agreed not to enforce the residency requirement after the preferential treatment was challenged in the courts as unconstitutional. Still, the problem of who owns and profits from Maine’s cannabis industry stays a hot-button issue.

The market has actually been excitedly waiting for the state’s announcement of first-wave licenses, however a lot of customers simply need to know how far they will need to drive to purchase legal recreational marijuana on opening day. Tuesday’s statement indicates Mainers who reside on the state’s northern border will have to drive about four hours to the nearby legal recreational marijuana store.

Neither Theory Wellness nor Sweet Relief is licensed to grow or produce marijuana items at this time, although both have multiple applications pending prior to the state to do so. If their grow licenses are not authorized by opening day, nevertheless, state law will allow them to buy wholesale cannabis flower grown or purchased by any fully certified adult-use growers.

With only one month in between the state’s last licensure of the three-adult use grows and the first sales, it is likely that the majority of the marijuana offered on opening day of adult-use sales will in fact originate from medical cannabis grows. To stock adult-use shelves at launch, state law allows the one-time sale of medical plants to licensed adult-use growers for harvest and sale to licensed sellers.

Consumers will need to show a government-issued ID to prove they are 21 years of ages to even enter a store, much less purchase cannabis. Daily purchases are restricted to no greater than 2 1/2 ounces of dry-leaf marijuana, or 5 ounces of concentrate. Edibles can’t surpass 100 overall milligrams of THC, the chemical that gets a user high; single edible portions are capped at 10 milligrams each.

State law allows retail stores to run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., however host towns can choose to embrace more restrictive operating limits.

Maine legalized adult-use cannabis through referendum in November 2016, together with California, Massachusetts and Nevada. The other states have actually long because opened their markets, while Maine will have spent 1,431 days rewording the resident referendum law, crafting regulations, dodging political delays and outwaiting a pandemic, assuming the Oct. 9 launch goes as prepared.

Of those states that allow adult-use marijuana sales, the average wait between approval and market opening was 435 days.

That has actually left a lot of cash on the table for Maine, both in sales and tax dollars. State officials predict $168 million in adult-use sales in the first full year of the marketplace, which would create at least $33 million in state tax earnings at a reliable 20 percent tax rate, however personal research companies say that number will be greater, and develop an approximated 6,100 brand-new industry jobs, too.

It’s unclear how much of that cash, or how many of the jobs, will be originating from losses suffered by Maine’s medical marijuana industry, which last year generated an estimated $111 million in sales, making it among Maine’s biggest markets, according to state tax records. In other states, recreational markets have actually hurt medical cannabis sales.

To open a leisure marijuana business in Maine, a candidate needs to have finished 3 licensing stages: an initial state conditional license, where a candidate’s financial resources and experience is reviewed; authorization from a host community; and final active state licensing, where a candidate’s functional and security plans are authorized.

For numerous, regional allowing is the most tough stage, requiring a neighborhood to opt into the marijuana market along with sign off on the normal zoning approvals. Unlike in Massachusetts, for instance, neighborhoods that host a cannabis business do not get any direct stipends from the business, nor a cut of any sales taxes created by the service.

Fifty-two of Maine’s 430 towns and 23 cities have actually chosen to permit some type of adult-use company to open within their borders, from as far north as Grand Isle to as far south as Eliot. Each town might decide what type of recreational business was welcome. Camden will only allow grows, and Kennebunk only laboratories. Fryeburg will not allow retail, while Newry stated no to all however retail.

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