Maine cannabis sales reached nearly $100,000 on opening day but retailers faced product shortages and customers paid high prices – a story familiar to the rollout of most cannabis markets.
Nearly four years after voters approved the reforms, recreational cannabis sales began last Friday at dispensaries in South Portland, Bangor, Auburn, Stratton, and Northport. The Office of Marijuana Policy said those shops reported $94,000 in sales, which amounts to $9,000 in sales taxes for the state, WPFO reports.
Green Cures Owner Tanya Rollins told WGME that the business sold $7,000 in product from 7 a.m. to noon. She said business could have been better but was hampered on day one due to there being just one testing facility to serve the entire state.
Theory Wellness of Maine CEO Brandon Pollock said the company had limited how much customers could purchase on the first day. Under the voter-approved law, 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.
“People have been waiting their entire lives for the repeal of prohibition, and we get to witness it here today.” – Pollock to WGME
Maine officials are expecting $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.
Rollins said she did not expect the state will reach those figures as growers and testing will have to catch up after the strong opening weekend.