Adult-use cannabis sales in Maine are set to commence on October 9, more than four years after voter approval and after two delays by a former governor and an “indefinite postponement” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Office of Marijuana Policy Director Erik Gundersen called the announcement “a major milestone in honoring the will of Maine voters and a significant step toward launching a new industry in the state.”
“The public’s health and safety are at the forefront of every decision we make at the Office of Marijuana Policy. 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. With the support of the public health community, municipalities across the state, and the industry we regulate, we have used the last few months to ensure this new industry is introduced to Maine consumers in a manner that is as responsible as possible.” – Gundersen in a press release
The OMP said it would begin issuing licenses for retail sales, cultivation, manufacturing, and testing on September 8. Businesses must undergo a three-step application process which includes conditional licensure and local approval before getting a license from the state.
Maine voters approved the reforms in 2016 but then-Gov. Paul LePage (R) twice vetoed the implementation bill passed by state lawmakers. Last October, officials anticipated adult-use sales would begin in March but those plans were derailed by the state’s lack of infrastructure and pushed to June. In April, officials indefinitely delayed the rollout of the program due to the coronavirus pandemic.