Maine cannabis shops report brisk service regardless of pandemic – Seattle PI

9January 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)– Maine’s rollout of legal cannabis sales has been silenced compared to other states since of the coronavirus pandemic, however shops are reporting vigorous company nonetheless.Maine wasn’t able to

replicate the grand opening scenes that have actually followed the very first sales in other states. However regulators reported more than$1 million in sales in October, more than $1.2 million in November and almost $2 million in December. The number of retail organizations also continues to grow.”Despite all the market difficulties, everything from COVID to supply chains and beyond, Maine has actually done a really great task getting this market up and running,”said Thomas Winstanley, vice president of marketing for Theory Health, which has locations in South Portland and Waterville.”Cannabis is becoming part of the social fabric.”Nearly a 3rd of U.S. states have actually authorized legal adult usage marijuana. That consists of numerous states with longer established cannabis programs and four that simply went legal in the 2020 elections and are developing programs. But just Maine went legal in 2016 and after that took almost four years to create a legal structure for retail sales. Those sales began in October, simply as the pandemic was getting worse in the state and around the nation. Cannabis sales in Maine are much less than Massachusetts, which also went legal in 2016 and was swifter to set up its marijuana program. Authorities in Massachusetts have actually reported more than $1 billion in sales returning to fall 2018. Maine is now home to 15 marijuana stores, 16 growing centers and 9 product production centers that have active licenses. The state authorized the very first 6 active licenses in September. Lots more licenses remain in various places along the

pipeline. Maine’s program was tailored to satisfy the needs of a smaller state. The state is a good idea to take a mindful method to growing the market, specifically throughout a pandemic, stated Scott Gagnon, a member of the Maine Marijuana Advisory Commission. Consumers have had to work out

the same kind of social distancing and face-covering requirements as everyone else in Maine, which undergoes a statewide mask instruction from Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat. “In other states, on the first day of sales, there are people lined

up along the block and it’s a huge, huge thing,”Gagnon said.”I believe it has, at least compared to other states before us, been less of a huge offer.” Maine’s long-established medical marijuana program, which

dates to the late 1990s, is likewise still running during the pandemic. The medical program stays much bigger, representing more than$200 million in sales last year. Some in the medical marijuana business approached retail legalization with uneasiness, and that has continued with the

roll-out of recreational sales, said Catherine Lewis, chairwoman of the board for the Medical Cannabis Caregivers of Maine trade association.”The way it was presented was more for big commercial organizations as opposed

to the small Maine cottage market we started with the medical program,”she stated. For now, however, the retail industry is delighted it’s getting up and running, even under less than ideal scenarios, stated David Boyer, a Portland-based cannabis market expert.

“Maine has actually grown marijuana for a long period of time, and with tourist down due to COVID it can be difficult for some of these locations when you open up, “Boyer stated.” There’s stuff on

the shelves.”___ Follow the AP’s total cannabis coverage: Source:

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