It took a while, but the state of Maine is finally going to start granting recreational cannabis licenses to businesses as of September 8, and the state will begin legal recreational cannabis sales on October 9.
According to Mainebiz, the announcement came from the Office of Marijuana Policy last Friday. The group claimed that they are moving ahead with a structured rollout of Maine’s adult-use industry, which was delayed almost four years, and then further delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and debate about how to regulate the industry.
“The public’s health and safety are at the forefront of every decision we make at the Office of Marijuana Policy,” said Erik Gundersen, director of the Maine 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.”
During the time between active licenses and recreational sales launching, the industry will test all products to ensure they are up to par. COVID-19 precautions will also be taken to ensure that everyone who is purchasing cannabis remains safe.
Information on all the licenses issued so far for cultivation, retail sales, processing and testing will be available on September 8 as well, and then the countdown until full legalization in October will officially begin.
Maine has been a major holdout state when it comes to getting its legalization up and running, considering the state passed its recreational cannabis legislation back in 2016. By 2021, the cannabis industry in the New England state is expected to be fully established.