Maine is on track to commence adult-use cannabis sales by March 2020, the Associated Press reports. The adult-use market was approved by voters in 2016 but regulations were vetoed by then-Gov. Paul LePage twice until his second veto was overridden by lawmakers.
State cannabis regulators released their industry rules in late April and the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is expected to adopt final rules for the industry within two months.
David Heidrich, an OMP spokesman, told the AP that the state is expecting revenue from cannabis sales beginning March 15 but the agency will only be able to act quickly on complete applications from municipalities that have opted into adult-use cannabis sales; so far, just 15 of Maine’s 455 municipalities have opted in.
Under a law signed by Gov. Janet Mills (D) in June, Maine has among the strictest residency requirements for cannabis businesses in the nation. Owners or those who own a majority interest in the company must have lived in the state for four years in order to get a license; although, the rules do allow out-of-state companies to control Maine cannabusinesses.
Analysts suggest that Maine’s market will be larger than its New England counterpart, Massachusetts, with a customer base of about 173,000 and projected revenues of $107 million by 2020. Massachusetts budget officials expect $84 million in cannabis sales in the state by 2020.
Heidrich said his office expects to begin accepting applications by the end of the year.