Maine to Allow Recreational Cannabis Sales From October
Nearly four years after state residents voted for recreational cannabis to be legalized, Maine regulators have set a date when commercial cannabis retail can begin.
From October 9, marijuana businesses in the northeast US state will be allowed to sell recreational products.
Prior to this, the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy intends to issue the first active recreational licenses to cultivation, manufacturing, retail, and testing businesses on September 8.
Between these two dates, adult use licensees are expected to harvest, process, and test their marijuana, and move products through the supply chain to stock retail store shelves.
“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in honoring the will of Maine voters and a significant step toward launching a new industry in the state,” Erik Gundersen, director of the Office of Marijuana Policy, said in a statement. “Many of the business owners we have spoken with during the application process are ready and eager to commence operations.”
The Office of Marijuana Policy reportedly would have launched the recreational market this April, were it not for the coronavirus pandemic. Now, ahead of the commercial launch, the Office has advised cannabis businesses to implement social distancing and other public health guidance, as the first day of sales “may attract a significant consumer presence to their retail locations.”
“The public’s health and safety are at the forefront of every decision we make at the Office of Marijuana Policy,” Gundersen said.
“While we were poised to launch this new industry earlier this year, we were unwilling to sacrifice the high standards we have set for this program by launching during an emerging public health pandemic and in the absence of a testing facility,” he added.