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Maine Reports 46 Percent Increase in Medical Cannabis Sales at Dispensaries

Maine’s medical cannabis dispensaries took in $23.6 million last year, a dramatic increase of 46 percent from the year before.

The $23.6 million worth of cannabis sold by dispensaries in 2015 generated about $1.29 million in sales tax for the state.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the increase was due to a flow of patients transitioning from prescription painkillers to cannabis. There are also more doctors in the state who are willing to recommend medical marijuana — yet another sign that social stigmas around cannabis use are beginning to taper off.

In 2014, dispensaries sold $16.2 million worth of product, generating more than $892,000 in tax revenue. This was a 40% increase in dispensary sales from the previous year, and resulted in more than triple the cannabis tax revenue of 2013.

“There are a number of factors at play here. The first would be that Mainers are becoming more used to the idea of therapeutic cannabis,” said Becky DeKeuster, director of education for Wellness Connection. “We’ve had a very successful dispensary program for five years now and people are becoming used to this option.”

The sales figures do not take into account Maine’s 2,225 small-scale medical marijuana caregivers, each of which are registered for the growing and distribution of cannabis for up to five patients.

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