After three years of delays, the Office of Marijuana Policy in Maine is finally ready to take applications for medical cannabis business licenses.
According to Portland Press Herald, the office is planning to start taking testing laboratory applications on Nov. 18 and retail applications on Dec. 5. “The Office of Marijuana Policy has worked to develop and institute regulations that we hope will serve as a model of how to properly regulate marijuana for the rest of the country,” said Erik Gundersen, director of the office. “The goal has been to put forth the best rules and regulations possible.”
Although state residents officially legalized recreational cannabis in 2016, the state has remained inactive when it comes to regulatory progress. This is a huge victory for the state, and some hopeful cannabis entrepreneurs are already preparing their businesses, as certain cities have promised to limit the number of legal cannabis businesses.
As of now, the plan is for Maine to be collecting its first round of cannabis sales tax revenue in March of 2020. The staggering rollout of licenses is to help keep things under control as new people jump eagerly into the industry. “It hasn’t sat well with anyone that a relatively benign substance is being treated as a public health threat,” said Mark Barnett, the owner of Higher Grounds, a CBD store in Portland, Maine shared regarding how the people are ready for legalization. “Everyone wishes this could have been a more free and open situation.”
Maine has been talking about rolling out legal cannabis sales in 2020 for a while but until now, they hadn’t made any official moves towards doing it. Recreational cannabis has been legal in the state for a while now, and finally, officials are acting on the state’s legal status.