Opening date set for retail marijuana shops, businesses await active licenses

In less than two months, Mainers 21 and older will be able to buy recreational cannabis. The three-phase launch beings on Sept. 8, when the first active licenses will be distributed. When retails sales begin on Oct. 9, it will have been nearly four year since Maine voters legalized recreational marijuana. Legislative and other delays pushed back the opening date before the pandemic delayed it indefinitely. During that time, 194 conditional licenses were handed out with 166 applications still pending. Each of the licenses were categorized into groups called cultivating, manufacturing, testing, or selling cannabis products. David Boyer, who managed the original campaign to legalize cannabis in 2016, is applauding the developments, noting that the taxes will go to benefit Maine. “We need to make sure that we have a good start-to-market, that there’s not bottle-necks for testing, that we’ve got enough cannabis on the shelves – because this is going to be a big day and a lot of people are going to go purchase cannabis for the first time legally,” said Boyer. Maine’s excise and sales tax will go to the state’s general fund, with 12% of its contributions going toward public health and law enforcement efforts around marijuana each month. Expecting a big turnout of customers on Oct. 9, the Office of Marijuana Policy says any retail shops will have to adhere and manage social distancing and other public health guidelines.

In less than two months, Mainers 21 and older will be able to buy recreational cannabis.

The three-phase launch beings on Sept. 8, when the first active licenses will be distributed. When retails sales begin on Oct. 9, it will have been nearly four year since Maine voters legalized recreational marijuana.

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Legislative and other delays pushed back the opening date before the pandemic delayed it indefinitely.

During that time, 194 conditional licenses were handed out with 166 applications still pending. Each of the licenses were categorized into groups called cultivating, manufacturing, testing, or selling cannabis products.

David Boyer, who managed the original campaign to legalize cannabis in 2016, is applauding the developments, noting that the taxes will go to benefit Maine.

“We need to make sure that we have a good start-to-market, that there’s not bottle-necks for testing, that we’ve got enough cannabis on the shelves – because this is going to be a big day and a lot of people are going to go purchase cannabis for the first time legally,” said Boyer.

Maine’s excise and sales tax will go to the state’s general fund, with 12% of its contributions going toward public health and law enforcement efforts around marijuana each month.

Expecting a big turnout of customers on Oct. 9, the Office of Marijuana Policy says any retail shops will have to adhere and manage social distancing and other public health guidelines.