Adult-use cannabis sales begin today in Maine nearly four years after voters in the state approved the reforms. Recreational use customers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of cannabis and concentrates, but no more than 5 grams of concentrates.
According to WGME, state budget experts predict adult-use sales will reach more than $250 million in Maine by 2025. The state is estimating $6 million in sales tax revenues from the space – set at 10 percent – in the first partial year of sales along with $6.8 million in excise taxes, which only apply to growers on flower and seeds.
Currently, the state has licensed just five dispensaries for recreational sales in Bangor, Northport, Newry, and two in South Portland, the report says.
Thomas Winstanley of Theory Wellness, one of the license-holders in South Portland, said the company wants “to define what the future of cannabis can look like” and “help reverse the stigma” associated with cannabis.
While there are currently no testing requirements for the state’s medical cannabis products, adult-use products must be tested for potency and contaminants.
Kaspar Heinrici, of South Portland-based SeaWeed Co., said customers can “expect prices to be a little bit higher” due to testing costs and taxes.
Despite being legalized in 2016, the rollout of the adult-use program was delayed first by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who twice vetoed industry implementation bills, and then by the coronavirus pandemic.
New England now has two states with recreational cannabis sales – Maine and Massachusetts – while Vermont just legalized sales, which are not expected until 2022, after approving adult use and possession in 2018.