Medical Cannabis is Now Maine’s Most Lucrative Crop

Medical cannabis constituted Maine’s most lucrative crop in 2020, outpacing potatoes, milk, and other food crops.

Full story after the jump.

Medical cannabis sales in Maine surpassed $221.8 million from January through November, making the crop the state’s most lucrative, outpacing potatoes, milk, hay, and wild blueberries, the Portland Press Herald reports. The total also represents a new annual sales record for medical cannabis, with still about three weeks left in 2020.

The figures include sales from Maine’s eight medical cannabis dispensaries and network of nearly 3,000 registered caregivers, who serve about 65,000 certified patients. The total does not include recreational cannabis sales, which began in October and reached $1.4 million in sales during its first month.

Patrick Anderson, CEO of Anderson Economic Group, which issues a monthly national cannabis market benchmark, told the Press Herald that the industry has “been participating in a national experiment” since the start of the pandemic in March.

“What we’ve learned is that no matter what, Americans are going to get their cannabis, alcohol, baking supplies and cars, regardless of the economy.” – Anderson to the Press Herald

Last year, medical cannabis sales in the state reached $109 million. Caregivers comprised 76 percent of the state’s 2019 sales totals, the report says.

Eric Maxim, a caregiver of seven years who opened Cannamax in October 2019, said that operators “didn’t know what to expect” with the pandemic-related lockdown but his business “has continued to grow throughout.”

“We are expanding our hours and hiring two employees,” Maxim told the Press Herald. “We aren’t going to go nuts, but we have seen a lot of people coming in looking for relief. Let’s just say I’m twice as happy as I thought I’d be.”

Maine officials recently approved rules allowing physicians to certify patients for any medical condition and allowing program reciprocity which, considered together, are likely drivers for the sales spike.

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